Skip to main content

Full text of "The prince of Parthia, a tragedy"

See other formats








PS 761.P7'T917"""'""'' '■""■'^ 
^*" iL'Eiji?i!iiiM!?M..?"aedy,by Thoma 

3 1924 021 959 501 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


A Tragedy 

Five hundred and eighty copies of Wift 
Prince at Partijta, of which five hundred 
and fifty are for sale, have been printed 
from type and the type distributed. 

This copy is Number JL J.1, 

Schoone r Charmitic N"ar.rv» J- Mullowny to Halifajr. 

5y Aiithortty, 


By the A M E R I c A n' C p M p'a n y. 

At the NEW THEATRE, in Souibnvarki 
On F R.I DA T, the Twniy.Folirib of ^/n/, will bd 
preieiit,ed, A Tragebv written by the late ingenious 
yiv.'Tfyimas Godfrey t ofthia eiry, called the 


The Principal Characters by --Mr. HALLAM^ 
Mrs. MORRIS, Mifs WAIi^WRIQHT, and 
Mtfs CHEER. , \ .' 

To which wjirise ?AAz^, A Ballad Opera called' 


To begin essSAy at Stven o'Clock^'-Vi'vant Rex & Kegina. 

April 23. 

T O B E I H T T, 

f'.H ^WO »»3^«re lilXTS- li»na!i>d nraf Jl »• t nv^-T ^-jsi«ra i-n«ilj 


From the Pennsylvania Journal, Aj)ril ^2;3, 1707 












Copyright, 1917, 
By Little, Brown, and Company. 

All rigMs reserved 







In commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth 
anniversary of the first and only professional production 
of "The Prince of Parthia" in 1767, this play is now 
published for the first time since its original publication 
in 1765. The text is reproduced without variation from 
the original. 

For valuable assistance rendered me in connection 
with the present edition, I take pleasure in acknowledg- 
ing, first of all, my exceptional indebtedness to Mr. 
James Sprunt of Wilmington, North Carolina. In 
greater or less degree, I am indebted for assistance to 
Mr. William B. McKoy of Wilmington ; to Mr. Joseph 
Jackson and Mr. E. P. Oberholtzer of Philadelphia; 
to Professor A. H. Quinn of the University of Penn- 
sylvania; and to Mr. and Mrs. Guernsey Moore of 
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania — to all of whom my hearty 
thanks are expressed. 


" FaBDiOii. ", Chapei, Hiuj, Nobth Cabouna, 
December, 1916. 



1. Introduction: Thosias Godfkbst and "The Prince 

OF Pakthia." 1 

2. "The Pbince of Pakthia" ...... 75 


Annottncement of Fibst Phoduction . . Frontispiece 
From the Pennsylvania Journal, April 23, 1767 


The Young Fbanklin 6 

From the sculpture by R. Tait McKenzie 

Monument to Thomas Godfrey, Senior . . . .10 
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia 

The Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia . 16 
From the painting by C. M. LefiPert 

Facsimile of the First Page of Evans' Ode to Godfrey 28 

On Masonboro Sound 30 

The environment in which The Prince of Parthia was 

James Logan 38 

After the painting in Independence Hall, Philadelphia 

Provost William Smith 38 

After the painting by Gilbert Stuart 

Reverend Jacob Ducnfe; Joseph Reed; Francis Hop- 

kinson; Hugh Williamson 42 


Facsimile of Title-page "The Court of Fancy" . . 48 



Lewis HaliiAM, who plated the TiTLE-ndLE in The 
Pbince of Pakthia, Southwakk Theatek, Apkil 
24, 1767 52 

Tbiumphal Return of the Pbince of Pabthia . . 56 
Philadelphia Pageant, October 9, 1908 

Persons of the Plat 60 

Designs by Guernsey Moore 

Pebsons of the Plat 64 

Designs by Guernsey Moore 

Where Thomas Gtodfbet Lies 70 

Old St. James' Churchyard, Wilmington, North Carolina 

Pabthian Coins 76 

1. Musa. 2. Vonones I. 3. Artabanus HI. 4. Gotarzes. 
5. Vardanes I. 






Whether or not it be true, as is so frequently as- 
serted, that America has produced little drama worthy 
of the name, certain it is that such drama as America 
has produced, especially in the early period of our his- 
tory, languishes in obscurity for lack of popular interest 
and critical interpretation. A conspicuous instance of 
the neglect of our native drama is afforded in "The 
Prince of Parthia", published for the first and only 
time a century and a half ago. In cyclopedia and bio- 
graphical dictionary, there is no dearth of feeble and 
inadequate accounts of Thomas Godfrey. Yet in the 
mind of no biographer has significance been accorded 
to the circumstance that this noteworthy beginning 
of American drama was made in Wilmington, North 
Carolina ; that it was here the first American tragedy 
was brought to completion ; that it was from this place 
that the manuscript of this work of original genius was 
despatched to Godfrey's native city, Philadelphia, for 
subsequent production — the first production of a 
native tragedy, upon the professional stage in America ; 



and that it is here Godfrey sleeps unhonored and 
unsung in an unmarked grave. It is surely incumbent 
upon the student of our native drama, concerned with 
the larger interests of our national literature, to en- 
deavor to discover the circumstances under which 
the play was written and, if possible, to re-create in 
imagination the literary and cultural conditions of 
American society, in Philadelphia and in Wilmington, 
in which young Godfrey found sympathy and encour- 
agement for creative eflFort. Such a study is especially 
appropriate at a time when the entire civilized world is 
paying a monumental international tribute to the 
genius of William Shakespeare; for this, Godfrey's 
only dramatic work, is the rich fruit of Shakespearean 


There is reason for genuine regret that no detailed 
and authoritative study has ever been made, so far as 
is known, of the rare composite of scientist and artist 
— bipartite genius of the type of Jose Echegaray or 
"Lewis Carroll", for example — who combines in 
mediately even proportions the powers of scientific 
analysis and creative imagination. Little less interest- 
ing than this type is the case of the literary artist who 
is the offspring of the scientist — afforded us in the 
example of Thomas Godfrey, Jr., the poet, son of 
Thomas Godfrey, Sr., the mathematician. 

Thomas Godfrey, Senior, was born in Bristol town- 
ship, about one mile from Germantown, in the colony 
of Pennsylvania, in the year 1704, on a farm adjoining 
Lukens' mUl, on the Church lane. In some notes on 
the Godfrey family, J. F. Watson says: "His grand- 


father, Thomas Godfrey, a farmer, had purchased the 
place of 153 acres from Samuel Carpenter, merchant of 
Philadelphia, on the 24th of August, 1697. His father, 
Joseph, a farmer and maltster, died in 1705, when he 
was but one year old. His mother afterwards married 
one Wood, of Philadelphia, and put her son out to learn 
the business of a glazier. The glaziers then did not 
paint as now; they only soldered the glasses into 
leaden frames. He did such work for the State house 
in 1732-3. He also did the same for £6 10s. for 
Andrew Hamilton's house at Bush hill, in 1740 — and 
I saw his bills. His father's estate became his when he 
was of age. He appears to have sold it to John Lukens 
on the 1st of January, 1735. The same premises sold 
in 1812 for $30,600." ^ According to traditionary 
accounts, Thomas Godfrey, the "American glazier", 
was both poor and uneducated; and the "authors" 
of the American Magazine " have given this flowery 
description of him, fully characteristic of the fanciful 
writing of the period: "Nature seems not to have 
designed the Father for a greater Mathematician, than 
she has the son for a Poet. The former, was, perhaps, 
one of the most singular Phsenomena that ever ap- 
peared in the learned world. For without the least 
advantages of education, almost intuitively, and in a 
manner entirely his own, he had made himself master 
of the abstrusest parts of Mathematics and Astronomy." 
It is clear that he was a man of some small property 
and moderately well-to-do ; and the business in which 
he was engaged, of glazier or plumber, was reasonably 

» Watson : "Annals of Philadelphia", 1860 edition, I, 528. 
" September, 1768. 


profitable. His interest early turning toward mathe- 
matical science, through the mere chance of reading a 
mathematical work, he resolutely set to work to edu- 
cate himself. As an illustration of his pertinacity in 
acquiring knowledge, it is related that, being baffled by 
the Latin terms with which mathematical books were 
interspersed, Godfrey "applied himself to that language 
with such diligence as to be able to read the occasional 
Latin he found." The branches of mathematics for 
which he showed the greatest fondness and aptitude 
were optics and astronomy.^ 

Intimate personal glimpses of the man and his 
family are given us by Benjamin Franklin, with all his 
forthright simplicity and engaging naivete. After his 
return, at the age of twenty-one, from his sojourn in 
London, young Franklin took a house "near the 
Market" in Philadelphia; and with characteristic fru- 
gality, in order to lessen the rent, he and his partner, 
Hugh Meredith, a "Welsh Pensilvanian ", thirty years 
of age, "took in Thomas Godfrey . . . and his family, 
who were to pay a considerable part of it to us, and 
we to board with them." ^ In the autumn of 1727 the 
studious Franklin formed most of his "ingenious 
acquaintances" into a "club for mutual improve- 

1 Watson, 1. c, i, 529-530. Cf. also "Philosophical Transactions'", No. 
435, and Watson's Ms. "Annals", p. 566, in the Historical Society of 

* "Works of Benjamin Franklin", edited by John Bigelow, Phila., 1887, 
I, 140. In 1730 Meredith removed to North Carolina with many other 
Welsh settlers from Pennsylvania, who were induced to go on account of 
the cheapness of the lands. Somewhat later, Franklin published in his 
newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, two letters written by Meredith from 
North Carolina, containing, as Franklin said, "the best account that had 
been given of that country, the climate, soil, husbandry, etc." — 1. c, 152. 


ment", which he named the Junto. "The rules that 
I drew up", says Franklin in his "Autobiography", 
"required that every member in his turn should pro- 
duce one or more queries on any point of Morals, Poli- 
tics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss'd by the 
company; and once in three months produce and 
read an essay of his own writing, on any subject he 
pleased." ^ Among the first members was Thomas 
Godfrey, one of the directors of the Library Company 
of Philadelphia, whom Franklin described in the fol- 
lowing thumb-nail sketch : "... a self-taught mathe- 
matician, great in his way, and afterwards inventor 
of what is now called Hadley's Quadrant, ... he 
knew little out of his way, and was not a pleasing com- 
panion; as, like most great mathematicians I have 
met with, he expected universal precision in every- 
thing said, or was for ever denying or distinguishing 
upon trifles, to the disturbance of all conversation." 
The diplomatic Mrs. Godfrey endeavored to arrange a 
match between Franklin and one of her relations ; but 
the negotiations finally resulted in the departure of the 
Godfreys in a huff. After a "serious courtship" of 
the young girl, who he acknowledges with comical 
condescension to have been "very deserving", Frank- 
lin let Mrs. Godfrey, the go-between, know that "he 
expected as much money with their daughter as would 
pay off his debt for the printing-house ", which he com- 
puted as not above a hundred pounds. After that, 

1 "Works of Franklin." Edited by John Bigelow, 1887, I, 142. For 
an interesting description ot the Junto, see the paper read before the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society by Dr. Patterson, one of its vice-presidents, on 
the 25th of May, 1843, in commemoration of its Centennial Anniversary. 


Franklin pregnantly observes, "I resolved to take no 
more inmates."^ 


Extended researches in Philadelphia and in the 
archives of the Royal Society of England abundantly 
demonstrate that Godfrey independently invented the 
instrument which Hadley afterwards improved. Of 
the invention, made in the year 1730, the following 
interesting anecdote is related: "Godfrey, who fol- 
lowed in our city the trade of a glazier, was one day 
engaged in replacing a pane of glass in the window of 
a house on the North side of Mulberry Street. A girl 
who had filled a pail with water, at a pump, that stood 
opposite, placed it on the sidewalk, and Godfrey, on 
turning towards it, saw the sun which had first been 
reflected from the window on which he was working, 
into the bucket of water, and a second time from the 
surface of the water to his eyes. His philosophical 
mind seized at once upon the observation and the prin- 
ciple was thus applied to the construction of an instru- 
ment with which he could draw the sun down to the 
horizon by means of a contrivance incomparably su- 
perior to any that had ever been used for the purpose 
of ascertaining angular measurements." * The incident 

' " Works of Franklin," 1, 165, 167. In the earliest article on Thomas God- 
frey, Sr. which I have discovered in any North Carolina publication, an article 
copied from the Petersburg (Va.) Intelligencer, he is described as "a Glazier 
who carried his box of glass, putty, hammer, and knife on his arm, and 
went through the streets of Philadelphia, to mend or replace broken panes 
in windows." Western Carolinian, Salisbury, N. C, August 28, 1821. 

^ An Address delivered at Laurel Hill Cemetery on the completion of a 
monument erected to the memory of Thomas Godfrey, June 1st, 1843, by 
G. Emerson, M. D. In the communication above cited, in the Petersburg 

The Youxg Frankli.v 
From the sculpture by R. Tait McKenzie 


has additional significance, in that, by one of those odd 
chances upon which momentous events sometimes 
hinge, Godfrey thereby attracted the interest and won 
the friendship of the famous James Logan. Indeed, 
the incident described above took place while working 
on the premises at Logan's place, Stenton. The train 
of reflection thus excited — "by accidently observing 
a piece of fallen glass," says Watson, probably erro- 
neously — "caused him to quit his sca£Fold and to go 
into Mr. Logan's library, where he took down a volume 
of Newton. Mr. Logan entering at this time and 
seeing the book in his hand, inquired into the motive 
of his search, when he was exceedingly pleased with 
Godfrey's ingenuity, and from that time became his 
zealous friend." The distinguished Logan, patron of 
literature and science, and the correspondent of such 
eminent scientists as Linnaeus, Fabricius, Peter Collin- 
son, and William Jones, in May, 1732 addressed a 
letter to Dr. Edmund Halley, President of the Royal 
Society of London, setting forth Godfrey's claims to 
recognition as the original inventor of the quadrant.* 
"Mr. Logan proves most conclusively," says Dr. 
Emerson, "that the Quadrant was not only invented 
in our city (Philadelphia), . . . but was actually in 
use (in 1730) two years prior to Hadley's claim." 

InteUigencer, the writer, who signs himself "H", states that Godfrey was at 
work on the north side of Arch Street. He furthermore states that he 
derived his knowledge of the incident, which was authentic, from an inti- 
mate of Godfrey's, his own grandfather, who lived to be 108 years old. 

' In the American Magaxine for July and August, 1758, the "Authors" 
made a genuine effort to do justice to Godfrey's memory, printing his letter 
to the Royal Society, as well as Logan's two letters. Cf. also, Armistead's 
''Memoir of Logan." 


Scholars of the stamp of David Rittenhouse, of Phila- 
delphia, and Professor Hutton, of Edinburgh, expressed 
the view that Thomas Godfrey and John Hadley, vice- 
president of the Royal Society of London, were original 
inventors of the quadrant, each discovering the prin- 
ciples of the instrument independently of one another. 
"It was decided that both were entitled to the honor 
of the invention. . . . The Society sent to Godfrey, 
as his reward, household furniture to the value of 
£200. . . ." ^ Godfrey's achievement is embalmed in 
Barlowe's notices of American men of science in the 
eighth book of the "Columbiad" : 

"To guide the sailor in his wandering way, 
See Godfrey's glass reverse the beams of day. 
His lifted quadrant to the eye displays 
From adverse skies the counteracting rays ; 
And marks, as devious sails bewilder'd roll. 
Each nice gradation from the steadfast pole." ^ 

In 1743, Godfrey enjoyed the distinction of having 
his name enrolled as "a mathematician" among the 
nine original members of the American Philosophical 
Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin. In 1838, well- 
nigh a century after his death in 1749, John Fanning 
Watson, the patriotic annalist of Philadelphia, at his 
own expense had the remains of Thomas Godfrey, his 
wife, mother, and father, removed from the burial 

• Appleton's " Cyclopsedia of American Biography", II, 668, 669. 

' For further confirmation of Godfrey's claim to the invention, compare 
Miller's "Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century", I, 468-480; the paper 
by Mr. Walsh, author of "The Appeal" ; and Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on 


ground on the family farm near Germantown, and 
reinterred in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia. The 
inscription on the old soapstone grave-stones at the 
family farm were fortunately preserved by Dr. Wat- 
son ; and are as follows : — 

East side : — 

Here lyeth the body of JOSEPH, son of Thomas 
and Frances Godfrey, aged thirty-and-two years, who 
died the 14th. of 2nd mo. in the year 1705, — 
As by grace comes election. 
So the end of our hope is resurrection. 

West side : — 

Death ends man's worke 

And labour here. 

The man is blest 

Whose labour's just and pure. 

'Tis vain for man 

This life for to adore, 

For our dear son 

Is dead and gone before ; 

We hope our Saviour 

Him hath justified 

Though of his being present 

We are now deprived. 

Five years later the members of the Philadelphia Com- 
mercial Library Company erected a monument, with an 
appropriate inscription, over the place of Thomas God- 
frey's re-interment.^ 

^ Cf. the address of Dr. Emerson, cited above, which was delivered upon 
the occasion of the dedication of the monument. The inscription on the 



"Mr. Godfrey and his father", quaintly observes the 
poet, Nathaniel Evans, the devoted friend of the former, 
"may be ranked among the natural curiosities of Penn- 
sylvania; for tho' neither of them had much human 
learning, yet by the peculiar felicity of their natural 
endowments, each of them were (sic) enabled, tho' in 
different ways, to raise themselves (sic) to honor in 
the learned world." ^ Thomas Godfrey, the younger 
was born in Philadelphia, on December 4, 1736 ; and 
by the death of his father he was left at the age of 
thirteen to the care of his relatives. 

In giving some biographical details of Godfrey, Evans 

tombstone, as ^ven in J. F. Watson's "Annals of Philadelphia" (1860 
Edition), I, SSO, is as follows: — 

Here repose the remains 


Thomas Godfrey 

The Inventor of the 


Bom 1704, died ;74». 


The remains of his father and mother, 

Joseph Godfrey and wife. 

They were removed from the 

Old homestead by Town^end's first Mill, 

October 6, 1838, 

By John F. Watson 

Viam navUce cqmpUmavit. 

Watson says (1850) that "There has since been a monument placed 
there", to mark the spot where Thomas Godfrey, the inventor, was orig- 
inally interred. See also Scharf and Wescott's "History of Philadelphia." 

'Preface to "Juvenile Poems on Various Subjects" etc., Phila., 1765. 
For excellent brief sketches of the Godfreys, father and son, compare "The 
Lives of Eminent Philadelphians now Deceased", by Henry Simpson. 
Philadelphia. 1869. 

Monument to Thomas Godfrey, Senior 
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia 


states that "he was placed to an English school", 
and there received "a common education in his mother 
tongue; and without any other advantage than that, 
a natural genius, and an attentive perusal of the works 
of our English Poets, he soon exhibited to the world 
the strongest proofs of poetical capacity." 

A question of no little interest concerns the identity 
of this "English school" which young Godfrey attended 
in Philadelphia. Benjamin West, who afterwards won 
international fame as a painter, was the means of bring- 
ing together Godfrey and the man who proved so benev- 
olent a patron, William Smith. "The Academy and 
Charitable School of Philadelphia", the earhest erected 
of all the buildings of the later University of Pennsyl- 
vania, had as its first President, Benjamin Franklin, 
who was elected November 13, 1749. The institution 
opened its doors to students on January 7, 1751. 
William Smith, a graduate of the University of Aber- 
deen, began teaching at the Academy on May 29, 
1754 ; and the next year he was chosen Provost of the 
institution, which was then given the new title of 
"The College, Academy and Charitable School of 
Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania." 
Meeting Benjamin West, who was born October 10, 
1738, in West's fifteenth year at Lancaster and per- 
ceiving that his education was being neglected, Smith 
suggested to the elder West to "send his son to the 
Capital" where he. Smith, "kindly proposed to direct 
his studies." John Gait, West's biographer, in speak- 
ing of West's boyhood days in Philadelphia, records : 
"Provost Smith introduced West, among other per- 
sons, to four young men, pupils of his own, whom he 


particularly recommended to his acquaintance, as 
possessing endowments of mind greatly superior to 
the common standard " — especially referring to Francis 
Hopkinson, who as he says "afterwards highly distin- 
guished himself in the eariy proceedings of the Con- 
gress of the United States", and Thomas Godfrey, 
who "died after having given the most promising indi- 
cations of an elegant genius for pathetic and descrip- 
tive poetry." ^ Godfrey was apprenticed to a watch- 
maker, believed to have been Daniel Evans, a relative 
and probably the father, of Godfrey's intimate friend, 
Nathaniel Evans, himself a poet of real promise.^ It 
seems clear, then, that Godfrey was one of Smith's 
pupils, in the College, the Academy, or the Charitable 

It was during this apprenticeship to the watch- 
maker, presumably Daniel Evans, that young Godfrey 
"secretly wrote a poem, which he published anony- 
mously in the Philadelphia newspaper, under the title 
of ' The Temple of Fame.' " » " The attention which it 
attracted", observes Gait, "induced West, who was 
in the poet's confidence, to mention to him (Provost 
Smith) who was the author. The information excited 
the alert benevolence of Smith's character. . . ." In 
the extended biography of Smith, it is stated that 
Smith "encouraged Godfrey to cultivate his abilities, 
and not only supplied him with much valuable infor- 
mation, but also introduced him to the society of a 
number of his students, already endeared to him by 

' "The Life and Studies of Benjamin West." Philadelphia: 1816. 

' Cf. Joseph Jackson : Public Ledger, Phila., March 21, 1915. 

' Gait's " West." This poem is not included in Godfrey's collected works . 


their excellent disposition and accomplishments." ^ 
This account clearly disagrees with the account given 
by Gait; but as Gait's book is practically an auto- 
biography of Benjamin West and was published sixty 
years earlier, it is accepted as giving the true account. 
The lists of the students of the Academy are not com- 
plete; and so it is not possible to corroborate from 
that source the supposition, amounting almost to a cer- 
tainty, that Godfrey was a pupil at the institution of 
which Smith was Provost. Although Thomas Godfrey, 
the elder, as demonstrated by J. F. Watson, was 
neither poor nor uneducated, he was undoubtedly a 
man of quite limited means ; and it seems not improb- 
able that Thomas Godfrey the younger attended the 
"Charitable School" connected with the institution. 
Upon discovering the identity of the author of "The 
Temple of Fame", Smith exhibited the "alert benevo- 
lence" of his character by losing no time "until he had 
procured the release of Godfrey from his indenture, and 
a respectable employment for him in the service of the 
State. . . ." 

The young men, of "excellent disposition and ac- 
complishments", with whom young Godfrey was thus 
thrown in Philadelphia were Benjamin West, whose 
genius for painting subsequently won him world-wide 
fame; Francis Hopkinson, in later days talented 
writer and author of "The Battle of the Kegs" ; Jacob 
Duche, who afterwards was Rector of St. Peter's 
Church, Philadelphia, and first Chaplain of Congress ; ^ 

' "Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William Smith, D. D.", by his 
great grandson, Horace Wemyss Smith. Philadelphia, 1879, I, 389-391. 
2 Account of Thomas Godfrey, the poet, written by Richard Penn Smith, 


Joseph Reed, aide-de-camp and military secretary to 
Washington in 1775 ; John Green, a forgotten portrait 
painter; and Nathaniel Evans, a brother poet, who 
after Godfrey's death collaborated with Provost Smith 
in bringing out an edition of Godfrey's poetical works. 
"When very young", says William Smith in regard 
to Godfrey, "he discovered a strong inclination to 
Painting, and was very desirous of being bred to that 
profession. But those who had the charge of him, not 
having the same honorable idea either of the profession 
or its utility which he had, crossed him in that desire ; 
which afifected him so nearly that it made him con- 
tract a sort of melancholy air, and choose to be much 
by himself; which was considered by many as sour- 
ness of temper and want of spirit. . . . Every moment 
he could be absent from his business was employed in 
reading and writing, or in the company of a young 
gentleman a Painter in this place, who was his sole 
acquaintance and friend." This "young gentleman a 
Painter" who was certainly not Godfrey's sole acquaint- 
ance and friend, was none other than John Green ; for 
in a foot-note in the published works of Godfrey, on 
page 39, we read: "Mr. John Green, an ingenious 
Portrait-Painter, a particular friend of Mr. Godfrey's, 
and Author of the Elegy, that precedes these Poems, 
on Mr. G.'s death," In his poem, "A Night-Piece", 
Godfrey naively pays the following equivocal com- 

son of Provost William Smith. The supposition that the younger Godfrey 
attended the Charitable School is strengthened by the statement of H. W. 
Smith, who says: "Godfrey, the father . . . was very poor, and could do 
nothing for his son." C/. "Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William 
Smith, D. D.", I, 187, 389-391. 


pliment, doubtless intended to be sincere, to the art of 
his friend, who is thus seen to have been a landscapist 
as well as a portrait-painter : — 

"What hand can picture forth the solemn scene, 
The deepening shade and the faint glimm'ring light ! 

How much above th' expressive art of G n 

Are the dim beauties of the dewy night." 

Something of the intimacy between Godfrey and 
Reed is revealed by Gait in his biography of West. 
Many of Godfrey's verses, we are told, "were com- 
posed under a clump of pines, which grew near the 
upper ferry of the Schuylkill, to which spot he some- 
times accompanied West and their mutual friend to 
angle. In the heat of the day he used to stretch him- 
self beneath the shade of the trees, and repeat to them 
his verses as he composed them. Reid was the name 
of the other young man, and the same person who 
first opposed the British troops in their passing through 
Jersey, when the rebellion of the provinces commenced." 
The person here referred to, whose name is misspelled, 
was, as we know, Joseph Reed (1741-1785), afterwards 
delegate in the Continental Congress (1777-1778), one 
of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania, and 
distingtiished in many other capacities.^ That poem of 
Godfrey's which we can definitely associate with the 
Schuylkill River is dedicated "To Mr. N. E." — 
Nathaniel Evans, undoubtedly; and the first lines of 
this "Cantata on Peace, 1763" read as follows : — 

^ C/. "Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed." By Wm. B. Reed, 
2 vols., Phila., 1847. Also "Illustrated American Biography", N. Y., 
1863, n., 11&-120. 


Where SchuyllciVs banks the shades adorn, 
And roses op'ning to the morn. 
Give odours to the breeze ; 
Thus Corydon, a tuneful Swain, 
Tun'd his soft reed a soothing strain. 
By Nature form'd to please. 


The bonds of intimacy connecting this group of 
young men are of sufficient interest to be put in 
evidence. Among the founders of the Philadelphia 
Academy who signed the Constitution on Nov. 13, 
1749, were Benjamin Franklin, the first President, a 
fellow-member with Thomas Godfrey, Senior, of the 
American Philosophical Society, and James Logan, 
Godfrey's zealous patron. Another one of the original 
trustees was Thomas Hopkinson, father of Francis 
Hopkinson, young Godfrey's friend; and another of 
Godfrey's friends, Jacob Duche, married the sister of 
his class-mate, Francis Hopkinson. The first gradu- 
ates of "The College, Academy and Charitable School 
of Philadelphia" at the Commencement, which was 
held in College Hall on May 17, 1757, were Jacob 
Duch6, Francis Hopkinson, James Latta, Samuel 
Magaw, John Morgan, and Hugh Williamson. This 
Hugh Williamson, born in 1735, was doubtless one of 
young Godfrey's acquaintances ; for he was a tutor in 
mathematics at the Academy from 1756 to 1758 ; and 
it is perhaps worthy of record also that Jacob Duche 
was made Professor of Oratory in the College of Phila- 
delphia two years after graduation, and held that 
position for nineteen years. Like young Godfrey, 


Hugh Williamson was afterwards intimately associated 
with the life and history of North Carolina, whither he 
removed about 1777. Williamson wrote the first his- 
tory of North Carolina, was a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress from N. C. (1782-1785, 1787-1788), 
and delegate respectively to the Annapolis Conven- 
tion (1786) and to the General Convention (1787) 
which formed the Constitution of the United States; 
The affectionate mutual interest of the members of 
this intimate group is still further illustrated in the 
tribute which they paid each other in the media of their 
respective arts. West painted the portrait of Provost 
Smith, which is still preserved ; ^ and also a portrait 
of Thomas Godfrey, Jr., which careful search has thus 
far failed to bring to light.* In the Historical Society's 
collection there is, according to Joseph Jackson, "a 
book of youthful sketches by West, without date, but 
obviously of this (youthful) period, in which there is a 
portrait of Green, and several unidentified portraits, 
one of them believed to be of Godfrey." * The deep 
regard and tender sentiment, not unmixed with sincere 
admiration, which Green cherished for Godfrey is well 
expressed in his "Elegy, To the Memory of Mr. Thomas 
Godfrey", with the Horatian motto: — 

1 "University of Pennsylvania", by E. P. Cheyney and E. P. Oberholtzer. 
Boston : R. Herndon Co., I, 63. 

2 In the biography of Provost Smith, Richard Penn Smith says : "There 
was long in my father's possession a portrait by West of liis young friend." 
It is to be feared that this portrait was not a flattering likeness — neither 
good art nor good portraiture ; for Seilhamer quotes from some source the 
statement that this portrait was "indicative of talent neither in the artist 
nor the person delineated." 

• Public Ledger, March 21, 1915. 


Quis desiderio fit pudor aut modus 
Tarn chari capitis ? 

which occupies the leading place in the edition of God- 
frey's works edited by Nathaniel Evans. In this 
same edition, to which Provost Smith anonymously 
contributed an elaborate critical postscript, appears 
Evans' "Elegy, to the Memory of the same", with 
date, Oct. 1, 1763 — two months after Godfrey's death.^ 
Among a very extended list of subscribers, we note 
with interest, from the small group in which our in- 
terest particularly centers, the following : Benjamin 
Franklin, Esq., LL. D., F. R. S., who subscribed for 
twelve copies; Rev''. William Smith, D. D., Provost 
of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, who sub- 
scribed for four copies; Rev*. Jacob Duche, A. M., 
one of the assistant ministers of Christ Church and 
St. Peter's, who subscribed for two copies ; Hon. Col. 
Henry Bouquet, under whom Godfrey had served in 
the campaign against Fort Duquesne in 1758; and 
Godfrey's close and familiar friend, the painter John 

Nathaniel Evans was not graduated with his own 
class at the Philadelphia Academy, whither he was 
sent "soon after it was first opened, and before the 
collegiate part of the Institution was begun." It is 
stated by Provost Smith that "his parents, who were 
reputable citizens, designing him for merchandize, put 
him Apprentice"; and shortly after finishing his ap- 

• "Juvenile Poems on Various Subjects, with The Prince of Parthia, a 
Tragedy. To which is prefixed some Account of the Author and his Writ- 
ines." Philadelphia, Heniy Miller, 1765. 


prenticeship, he "returned to the College, and applied 
himself, with great diligence, to the study of Philosophy 
and the Sciences, till the Commencement, May 30, 
1765 ; when on account of his great merit and promis- 
ing genius, he was, by special Mandate of the Trustees, 
upon the recommendation of the Provost and Faculty 
of Professors, complimented with a Diploma for the 
degree of Master of Arts ; although he had not taken 
the previous degree of Bachelor of Arts, on account of 
the interruption ig his course of studies, during the 
term of his apprenticeship." Immediately after the 
Commencement, he embarked for England and was 
admitted into holy orders by the Lord Bishop of Lon- 
don, Dr. Terrick. He was appointed by the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to 
the new Mission for Gloucester County, N. J. Upon 
his return from England at the end of 1765, he imme- 
diately undertook the work of the Mission ; but lived 
just long enough (Oct. 29, 1767), says Smith, "to show, 
by the goodness of his temper, the purity of his morals, 
the cheerfulness and affability of his conversation, the 
sublimity and soundness of his doctrines, and the 
warmth of his Pulpit Composition, how well he was 
qualified for the sacred office, to which he had now 
wholly devoted himself." 

Shortly after Evans' death. Provost Smith filled for 
him the same office of Kterary executor which Evans, 
with his expert assistance, had a few years before filled 
for Godfrey. Owing to numerous interruptions, of 
which he speaks in the Introduction, he was unable to 
bring out this edition of Evans' poems until 1772 — 
his introduction bearing at the end the inscription 


"Philadelphia, August 1, 1772." ^ Among subscribers 
to this work, it is interesting to note the names of Oliver 
Goldsmith, Esq., London, and of Evans' old friend of 
Academy days, now Reverend Jacob Duche, A. M., 
Assistant Minister of Christ Church and St. Peter's, 
Philadelphia, and Chaplain to the Right Hon. the Earl 
of Stirling — who subscribed for two copies. 

In May, 1758, Provost Smith procured from the 
Governor of Pennsylvania a commission as ensign for 
his protege, Godfrey.^ At the age of twenty-two, 
Godfrey joined the Pennsylvania forces then being 
raised for an expedition against Fort Duquesne, and 
served during the course of the campaign. In his 
"Poetical Essays", in the American Magazine, of Sep- 
tember, 1758, Provost Smith states that it was Godfrey's 
"lot and mortification to be left in garrison at one of 
our out-forts, when his great desire would be the scene 
of action, and to sing those victories and triumphs, 
which, 'tis hoped, we shall yet reap." 

During the second quarter of the century. North 
Carolina became a Mecca for the migratory population 

'■ "Poems on Several Occasions, with Some Other Compositions", by 
Nathaniel Evans, A. M. Phila., John Dunlap, 1772. 

2 "Pennsylvania Archives", 11, 131. He was undoubtedly recom- 
mended by Provost Smith for a lieutenant's commission, as mentioned in 
H. W. Smith's biography of Provost Smith ; but no official record of God- 
frey's commission as lieutenant has been found. He was probably given 
that rank after the campaign was under way ; for it is categorically stated 
by his intimate friend, Evans, in the following foot-note to the "Epistle to 
a Friend from Fort Henry", dated August 10, 1758: "Wrote, when the 
Author was a, Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Forces, and garrisoned at 
Fort Henry.'' 


of Pennsylvania; and doubtless Thomas Godfrey, the 
elder, had read in the Pennsylvania Gazette, edited by 
his friend and fellow-scientist, Benjamin Franklin, the 
letters from North CaroUna, written by Franklin's 
former partner, Hugh Meredith. These elaborate 
and roseate pictures of North Carolina which, as 
Franklin remarks, "gave great satisfaction to the 
publick", may very well have proved mildly alluring 
to young Godfrey. But his immediate interest in 
North Carolina was most probably aroused as the 
result of being thrown into association with the famous 
North Carolina rangers, during the course of the cam- 
paign against Fort Duquesne, and with their popular 
commander, expert in Indian and border warfare, under 
whom Daniel Boone had formerly served. Major Hugh 
Waddell, of Wilmington. Indeed it was not long after 
his return to Philadelphia, in the late winter of 1758- 
1759, that he was offered a situation as factor in Wil- 
mington — presumably at the instance of his brother 
officer, Hugh Waddell, impressed by his personality 
and talents. In the spring of 1759 he embarked for 
Wilmington, which he was to find conspicuous alike for 
the literary culture of its leading citizens and the gayety 
of the social life. 


The village of New Town, facing the Cape Fear 
River, was laid off as early as April, 1733. Five years 
before this. North Carolina had been divided into three 
counties, Albemarle, Bath, and Clarendon. The last 
named "had but one precinct, styled New Hanover, 
embracing the settlements on both sides of the lower 
Cape Fear, and numbering a population of about five 


hundred." In his admirable "Description", McRee 
says : "To the Florist and Botanist no section of the 
globe, of equal extent, is more deeply interesting than 
the immediate neighborhood of Wilmington. A never 
ending and varied beauty, follows the seasons. 
Festoons of the virgins-bower and clustering grape; 
pleasant savannahs, enamelled with blossoms of every 
hue, and rivalling the richest gardens of the old world ; 
the tulip-tree, the live oak; the cypress and juniper; 
and the dionea, spreading its snare for the thoughtless 
fly, form a scene of enchantment on every side, en- 
circling the glistening white sands of the Town with a 
girdle of unfading verdure." 

In 1736 the site of the present Wilmington was 
occupied as a trading post by a few merchants; but 
it was not until 1739 that the settlement known as 
Newton was established by law as a town. The name 
of Wilmington was bestowed upon the town by Gov- 
ernor Gabriel Johnston as a compliment to his patron, to 
whose kind offices he was indebted for his position. 
Sir Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, a noble- 
man of abiUty and distinction, who for many years had 
occupied a high position at court, and was soon to 
become Prime Minister. 

As aflFording a little glimpse of conditions on the 
Cape Fear at this period, a quotation may be given 
from a letter written from Wilmington, in 1741, by 
James Murray, of London, one of the Governor's 
Council : "In my home there is a large room 22 X 16 
feet the most airy of any in the country, two tolerable 
lodging rooms and a closet upstairs and garrets above. 
A cellar below divided into a kitchen with an oven 


and a store for liquors, provisions &c. this makes one 
half of any house. The other, placed on the east end, 
is the store cellar below, the store and counting house 
on the first floor and above it is partitioned oflf into 
four rooms, but this end is side plaistered, but only 
done with rough boards." ' In the act of incorpora- 
tion of the town, it was enacted "that no person should 
be deemed qualified to be a Representative of said 
town to sit in the General Assembly, unless he was 
seizin of a brick, stone or frame house with one or more 
chimneys", the house to be at least thirty feet long 
and sixteen feet wide. In an unpubUshed letter to 
the young Samuel Johnston, Junior, afterwards the 
distinguished North CaroUna statesman of that name, 
written from Wilmington Uttle more than a year before 
the arrival of Thomas Godfrey, Peter du Bois gives a 
graphic picture of the town and its development. 
Comparing it with New Bern, another town in eastern 
North Carolina, long known as "the Athens of North 
Carolina", he says: "I confess the spot on which its 
built is not so Level nor so good a Soil, But the Regu- 
larity of the Streets are {sic) equal to those {sic) of 
Philadelph* and the Buildings in General very Good. 
Many of Brick, two or three Stories High with double 
Piazas wch. make a good appear"*." * A brief period 
only for the cultivation of better acquaintance with 
the inhabitants is doubtless all that is required to en- 
able the convivial du Bois to realize the true spirit of 
the place; for he continues: "I cannot yet find a 
Social C. who will Drink Claret & Smoke Tobacco 

• "Letters of a Loyalist." 

* "ArcluTes, North Carolina Historical Commission", Raleigh, N. C. 


till four in the morning. I hope however to make 
some proselytes soon. In which very Righteous at- 
tempt I don't doubt but shall have the best wishes of 
all Lovers of Society, among the Numbers of wch. I 
do not omit to count Mr. Johnston." 

True "lovers of Society" were indeed to be found 
in this town of Wilmington, noted afar for its lavish 
hospitality and the polite learning of its inhabitants. 
After 1740, as Wheeler, the historian of North Caro- 
lina, records, it was the custom of the people of the 
Cape Fear section to send their sons to Harvard, while 
the inhabitants of the northeastern counties sent their 
sons to the universities of Great Britain. In the 
language of the gifted annalist, McRee, men of rare 
talents, fortune, and attainment united to render 
Wilmington "the home of politeness, and ease, and 
enjoyment." It was with this society — with women of 
wit and men educated at the great universities — that 
young Thomas Godfrey, of brilliant talents yet humble 
origin, came to mingle during his sojourn in Wilmington. 

This section of North Carolina was described by the 
Royal Governor, Josiah Martin, as "the region of 
politeness and hospitality"; and the literary taste of 
the inhabitants is exemplified in the public and private 
libraries of this region, notably the "Cape Fear Li- 
brary", supported by a society of gentlemen, and the 
private library of Samuel Johnston, a quarter of a cen- 
tury later numbering upwards of five thousand volumes. 
"Festive entertainment, balls, every species of amuse- 
ment which song and dance could aJBford", says Archi- 
bald Maclaine Hooper, a younger contemporary, " were 
resorted to. Thie neighing courser and the echoing 


horn, the sports of the turf and the pleasure of the 
chase, were alternately the objects of eager pursuit. . . . 
This general ease and prosperity was highly favorable 
to the cultivation of polite literature. . . . Every 
family possessed a collection of the best English authors. 
. . . Wit and humor, music and poetry, were drawn 
into action in social and convivial intercourse. Con- 
versation was cultivated to a high degree."^ The 
biographer of Associate Justice Iredell, of the U. S. 
Supreme Court, remarks of Wilmington that "the 
higher civilization of the Old World had been trans- 
planted there, and had taken vigorous root." * 

Conspicuous members of this patrician society were 
John Ashe, afterwards General in the Revolution, 
"the very Rupert of debate"; Cornelius Harnett, 
"the pride of the Cape Fear", the famous patriot 
described by Josiah Quincy as the "Samuel Adams of 
North Carolina", who could "boast a genius for music 
and taste for letters"; Samuel Ashe, afterwards Gov- 
ernor of the State ; Dr. John Eustace, the correspon- 
dent of Sterne, a gentleman who " united wit and genius, 
learning and science"; Col. Thomas Lloyd, a master 
of classical learning; Dr. John Fergus, "of stately 
presence, with velvet coat, cocked hat, and gold headed 
cane, graduate of Edinburgh"; William Pennington, 
afterwards Master of the Ceremonies at Bath, "an 
elegant writer, admired for his wit, and his highly 
polished urbanity"; Archibald Maclaine, "whose 
criticisms on Shakespeare would, if they were pub- 

' N. C. Univ. Magazine, June, 1860. 

' "Life and Correspondence of James Iredell", in 2 vols. By Griffith J. 


lished, give him fame and rank in the republic of 
letters"; William Hill, graduate of Harvard, praised 
by Quincy for his exquisite politeness; Lewis Henry 
de Rosset, a "cultivated and elegant gentleman", 
whose titled ancestors were signally honored by the 
Grand Monarque; Maurice Moore, afterwards dis- 
tinguished as judge, a brilliant pamphleteer — "as a 
wit, always prompt in reply; as an orator, always 
'daring the mercy of chance'"; and others little less 
distinguished. " No better society existed in America ", 
says the biographer of Hugh Waddell, "and it is but 
simple truth to say that for classical learning, wit, 
oratory, and varied accomplishments no generation of 
their successors has equalled them." ^ 

After Godfrey left Philadelphia upon the voyage 
which finally landed him safely as commission mer- 
chant at Wilmington, his devoted friend, Nathaniel 
Evans, addressed to him a sprightly "Ode — Attempted 
in the manner of Horace",* in which he touches upon 
the subjects of their mutual concern : their poetic 
aspirations, their enforced engagement in uncongenial 
pursuits, and their desire to devote their best energies 
and talents to literature. The first two stanzas, we 
may observe, vividly project the picture of Godfrey 
on his way to North Carolina. 

' "A Colonial OflScer and his Times", by Alfred Moore Waddell. 

' " Poems on Several Occasions, with Some Other Compositions." Phila ., 
John Dunlap, 1772. In a foot-note to this poem, dedicated "To my In- 
genious Friend, Mr. Thomas Godfrey", one reads, "Mr. Evans and he were 
intimate in life and in death not long divided. They possessed a kind of 
congenial spirits, and their fates were not dissimilar. Both courted the 
Muses from their very infancy; and both were called from thb world as 
they were but entering into their state of manhood." 


While you, dear Tom, are forc'd to roam, 
In search of fortune, far from home. 
O'er bogs, o'er seas and mountains ; 
I too, debar'd the soft retreat 
Of shady groves, and murmur sweet 
Of silver-prattling fountains. 

Must mingle with the bustling throng. 

And bear my load of cares along. 

Like any other sinner : 

For, where's the ecstacy in this. 

To loiter in poetic bliss. 

And go without a dinner ? 

Flaccus, we know, immortal bard ! 
With mighty kings and statesmen far'd. 
And lived in cheerful plenty : 
But now, in these degenerate days. 
The slight reward of empty praise. 
Scarce one receives in twenty. 

Well might the Roman swan, along 
The pleasing Tiber, pour his song. 
When blest with ease and quiet ; 
Oft did he grace Maecenas' board. 
Who would for him throw by the lord. 
And in Falernian riot. 

But dearest Tom ! these days are past. 
And we are in a climate cast 
Where few the Muse can relish ; 
Where all the doctrine now that's told, 


Is that a shining heap of gold 
Alone can man embellish. 

Then since 'tis thus, my honest friend, 
If you be wise, my strain attend. 
And counsel sage adhere to ; 
With me, henceforward, join the crowd, 
And like the rest proclaim aloud. 
That Monet is all Viktue. 

Then may we both, in time, retreat. 

To some fair villa, sweetly neat. 

To entertain the Muses ; 

And then life's noise and troubles leave — 

Supremely blest, we'll never grieve 

At what the world refuses. 

In the gracious and courtly society of Wilmington, 
young Godfrey, whom his friend Evans described as a 
"man of lovely character", was surely not "debarred 
the soft retreat of shady groves, and murmur sweet of 
silver-prattling fountains", even though his trade as 
factor compelled him to "mingle with the bustling 
throng", and bear his "load of cares along." He no 
doubt keenly enjoyed his association with the Shake- 
spearean and classical scholars of the Cape Fear — with 
Fergus, Moore, Maclaine, and Eustace. And these, 
in their turn, welcomed into their inner circle the bud- 
ding young poet, and encouraged him in his literary 
aspirations. Friendship was the natural atmosphere 
of this young poet of whom his biographer could truly 
say: "His sweet, amiable disposition, his integrity of 
heart, his engaging modesty and diffidence of manner, 

C -5" ■ ] 

'■ ■ ■ . A N 

■ O D E 

Altemplcl in the ' y ).f (Ion At- >:, 
T O, M y I N ,G K N' I O II S V K F i: N' P, 

J^R. *T H o M A s r; () 1) I' !< I-: r. 

Wnir.E you, (I'.Mr 'I'om, .uc for-V! :.j ro,im> 
In ll-artli oi' iorruiKr, I'.ir fri>.-ii \,-m;c. 
O'er l)Ojj',, o'er Ira', and iiKnu)!.".',:;.^'; 
I too, dcbarM tlic foi'c rt-tR-^t 
Of fhady gi'ovei,, and iiniimiir fwcct 
Of filvcr-praitling founuins, 

il. NTu.l 

* See c;n accnint of ijic Thomas CoDiKf^s, f.ii!i r jr.d 
fun, in the Aiiicriijii M^gu/inc. The aJ><«« litllc wic i' "il- 

(Irofili! lo ilu; Ton. NJr. /":.";/ ^rul hewtri; iiHiiiMtc in /,'■', ji.i! 'n 
,/,..■//■ ni.i'l'ii':; ili\lil'.t!. 'I'luy pi'i' aUti.l nt' . ; 
Ipiiit;, and On-ir'. ; vv^-u- not tliilnniiiir. H(»fti (:(»tir;..ii ihe 
Miili-s from i!n ir \i. IV ii'i ! ■. '. ; .mil iM.itli vt ic r.ilkil I'loni f!iis 
woilj as ilicy v.trt- hii < .1. .in'.; rniu ihcir ftaie 4>r ni4nh'j<Hl' 
On Mr. f;o<irriy'5 il>;.ii'i, '<iv. r'.-.r:, coiK-.tcl .I'l.l pi.! 
his jjRCC'S in ;} ftn.iU voiiiit,'. ;'-ii.| lo-in .-ItL'^. ii<l . 1- U M; c"-.^a 
J^t-cts to ific like f"ri-,M.j!) t..!. . rcti-.i ■. 

Facsimile of Evaxs' Ode to Godfrey 
First page 


his fervent and disinterested love of his friends, en- 
deared him to all those who shared his acquaintance, 
and stamped the image of him in indelible characters 
on the hearts of his more intimate friends." ^ 

In Wilmington, young Godfrey, the congenial com- 
panion and loyal friend, was soon on friendly, and even 
intimate, terms with all classes of the people, from the 
Provincial Secretary and the Commander of the Fort 
to the town engineer and the sheriff of the County. 
The summer colony of the most distinguished figures 
of the day was located on Masonborough Sound, some 
seven miles below Wilmington, thus named because a 
number of zealous Masons originally built there, so 
closely together, as to create a straggling village, or 
handet ; and here Godfrey formed the acquaintance, 
and doubtless won the friendship as well, of Cornelius 
Harnett, afterwards to become the great revolution- 
ary leader of North Carolina; Col. Alexander Lilling- 
ton, afterwards General and hero of the decisive battle 
of Moore's Creek Bridge; and Archibald Maclaine, 
the able lawyer and refined Shakespearean scholar. 
"Godfrey spent his summers at Masonboro Sound", 
relates the distinguished antiquarian. Colonel James 
Green Burr, "and was highly esteemed for his many 
good qualities. He wrote a piece upon Masonboro 
and many others of local interest, which survived for 
years in the recollection of the people of this section 
but which have long since been forgotten." ^ In the 
appendix to the Life and Correspondence of James Ire- 

' Preface to Godfrey's "Poetical Works." 

' "Early History of the Lower Cape Fear" : James Sprunt Historical 
Monograph, IV, 126. University of North Carolina Press. 1904. 


dell, McRee records that "many of the minor pieces 
in his (Godfrey's) collection of poems, abound in local 
allusions." Among these may be especially singled 
out for mention the "Epistle to a Friend", dated 
August 10, 1758, and written while the author was gar- 
risoned at Fort Henry: "To the Memory of General 
Wolfe"; and "Victory", his last published poem, 
which appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette and cele- 
brated the success of the British arms in America. In 
his "History of the Town of Wilmington", published 
in the Wilmington Chronicle, Sept. 16, 1846, McRee 
further states: "He (Godfrey) was much of a reader, 
— well versed in the English poets, and was himself a 
poet of no mean rank. He wrote several pieces descrip- 
tive of the locality where he dwelt. One was on Mason- 
boro Sound and possessed great beauty, being remark- 
able for its felicity of diction and thought, and its 
graphic excellence. . . . The verses of this poet were 
once greatly in vogue in the neighborhood in which he 
had selected a home, and found friends warm and 
steady ; and there were but few gentlemen who could 
not repeat from memory some passages from his pen. 
His works were published, but no copy can now be 
found where his genius was fostered and first put forth 
its tender leaves." 

Fortunately, the "piece upon Masonboro" has been 
preserved; and leads us to believe that Godfrey not 
only wooed the Muses at Masonboro, but also lost his 
heart there, mayhap one summer night, along the 
moonlit sound. In a foot-note, "Masonborough" is 
described as a "pleasant Retreat, nigh Cape Fear, in 
North Carolina." 

o H 



O Come to Masonborough's grove, 
Ye Nymphs and Swains away. 

Where blooming Innocence and Love, 
And Pleasure crown the day. 

Here dwells the Muse, here her bright^ Seat 

Erects the lovely Maid, 
From Noise and Show, a blest retreat, 

She seeks the sylvan shade. 

Hence Myra, with that scornful air, 

Nor frown within this grove. 
Fell hate shall find no resting here, 

'Tis sacred all to Love. 

And Chloe, on whose wanton breast 

Lascivious breezes play, 
"Ks Innocence that makes us blest, 

And as the Season gay. 

Ye noisy Revellers retire. 

Bear your loud laughter hence, 

'Tis Virtue shall our Songs inspire. 
And Mirth without oflFense. 

The Queen of Beauty, all divine. 

Here spreads her gentle reign. 
See, all around, the graces shine. 

Like Cynthia's silver train. 


During the period of his residence in North Carolina, 
Godfrey evidently visited various towns in the eastern 
part of the Colony — Edenton, New Bern, Brunswick, 


and Cross Creek (now Fayetteville) . Among his 
friends and acquaintances were Colonel Benjamin 
Heron, Esq., Provincial Secretary; William Bartram, 
the famous botanist and traveller ; Obadiah Holt, the 
sheriff of New Hanover County ; Colonel James Moore, 
commander of Fort Johnson near the mouth of the 
Cape Fear, and afterwards General in the Revolution ; 
Colonel Caleb Grainger, one of the first eight aldermen 
of the town of Wilmington, elected in 1760; Judge 
Alexander Martin, of Cross Creek, afterwards famous 
as Governor of North Carolina ; Mrs. Anne Nessfield, 
whose daughter married the famous Federalist, the 
friend of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, General 
John Steele ; Colonel William Purviance, active patriot 
and member of the Committee of Safety; Robert 
Schaw, Colonel of Artillery under Governor Tryon 
in the expedition against the Regulators in 1771 ; 
William Davis, afterwards Major in the Revolution; 
and Alexander Duncan, town engineer of Wilmington.^ 
A fragment of documentary evidence, negative 
though it be, gives one an amused, albeit faint, glimpse 
of Godfrey through the obscurity of the period. One 
of the early laws of Wilmington compelled all the 
taxables, several times each year, together with the 

' These names are taken from the list of subscribers for the edition of 
Godfrey's works edited by Nathaniel Evans in 1765. It is presumed that 
those who, in remote Carolina, subscribed to a book of poems published in 
Philadelphia two years after the death of the author, must have had the 
strong reasons of friendship and acquaintance to induce them to sub- 
scribe. Other names of subscribers from North Carolina are James Bailey, 
William Campell, Alexander Chapman, Robert Cohren (Cochrane), Walter 
Dubois, Cornelius Harnett, Robert Johnson, Archibald McDuffei, Archi- 
bald Maclaine, John Robeson, Patrick Stewart, James Stewart, and William 


able-bodied men of the town, black and white, to 
work from three to six days at a time on the streets 
and wharves, and on the road from Pt. Peter to Mt. 
Misery. Usually, there was a long list of delinquents, 
who failed to answer the call. In July, 1760, for some 
strange reason, virtually the entire population of Wil- 
mington must have "turned out" ; for the list of 
defaulters, as given in the county records, was singularly 
brief, numbering only twenty in all. Among these 
delinquents in civic duty was the young poet, Thomas 
Godfrey, mayhap busy at the time upon The Court of 
Fancy, his long poem modelled on Chaucer's House of 
Fame. Who, indeed, we may well inquire, would ex- 
pect of a dreamy poet devotion to such prosaic social 
service as road upkeep a century and a half in advance 
of the age? Thomas Godfrey, like many of us, cared 
more for poems than for picks, for spondees than for 
spontoons. Perhaps, thus early, he already had rapt 
visions of the quiet wooing of the muses, seductively 
depicted by his friend Evans in his playful ode : — 

"Then may we both, in time, retreat. 
To some fair villa, sweetly neat. 

To entertain the Muses ; 
And then life's noise and trouble leave — 
Supremely blest, we'll never grieve 

At what the world refuses." ^ 

During his sojourn of three years in North Carolina, 
Godfrey often contributed verse to the American 
Magazine of Philadelphia, edited by his friend and 
patron, William Smith. Certain of these poems were 

1 "Poems on Several Occasions ", 60-52. 


published in the Monthly Review of London; and the 
"authors" of that review stated of Godfrey: "He 
certainly has genius; and we are sorry he had not 
education to improve it." The chief preoccupation 
of his fancy when he first arrived in North Carolina, 
however, was a stage-play which he was engaged in 
writing. In the Philadelphia society of this period, 
there was a deep interest in plays and in the drama 
generally. Favorite authors for discussion — their 
invention, style, imagery, diction — were Addison, 
Prior, Congreve, Dryden, Pope, and Shakespeare.^ 
At the age of thirteen, Godfrey might have seen pro- 
duced at Plumstead's, by the Murray and Kean 
players, in August, 1749, Addison's Cato, a play which 
manifestly influenced him in the choice of subject 
and setting for his own tragedy.^ It is possible that 
during the same year he may have seen the same 
company's productions of Otway's Orphan and Shake- 
speare's Richard III. Plays in Hallam's repertory 
which doubtless exerted some influence upon Godfrey 
in the writing of his own stage-piece, plays which he 
may have seen produced (April 15 to June 12, 1754), 
are Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Farquhar's Tamer- 
lane, and Rowe's Tamerlane. It is most probable that 

' "Journal of William Black." Cited in O. Seilhamer : "History of the 
American Theatre", I, 195. 

' Cf. Journal of John Smith, who was a nephew of James Logan, in the 
following entry : — 

Sixth Month (August) S2, 1749. Joseph Morris and I happened in at 
Peacock Bigger's, and drunk tea there, and his daughter, being one of the 
company who were going to hear the tragedy of Colo acted, it occasioned 
some conversation, in which I expressed my sorrow that anything of the 
kind was encouraged. 


Godfrey was present on June 19, 1754, when Hallam 
and his company produced Gibber's Careless Husband 
and the farce. Harlequin Collector, the proceeds going 
"for the benefit of the charity children belonging to 
the Academy in this City." ^ 

Certain it is that when David Douglas, who had 
been united in marriage to the widow of the elder 
Lewis Hallam, the actor, brought his company to 
Philadelphia in the spring of 1759, the news soon 
reached Godfrey in Wilmington, and animated him 
to feverish efforts to complete his tragedy in time to 
have it produced by Douglas' company in Phila- 
delphia. His leisure hours during the summer and 
autumn of 1759 he devoted to the hurried completion 
of "The Prince of Parthia." The last act, which he 
left in a somewhat unfinished state, evidences his 
haste. It must not be forgotten, in any consideration 
of Godfrey as a dramatist, that "The Prince of Parthia" 
was not designed as a mere closet-drama, but was 
written with the avowed object of stage-production. 
"As he knew the Company (Douglas' Company) was 
about to break up", comments Provost Smith, in the 
"Postscript" to Evans' edition of Godfrey's poetical 
works, "and he might not soon have another oppor- 
tunity of trying his success this way, he was willing 
to offer it." Fortunately, the fragment of a letter 
dated November 17, 1759, has come down to us, 
written from Wilmington by Godfrey to a friend in 
Philadelphia, doubtless Provost Smith: "By the last 

' Pennsylvania Gazette, Jan. 20, 1754. There are good grounds, as we 
have seen, for the belief that, at this time, Godfrey was a pupil at the charity 
school connected with the Philadelphia Academy. 


vessel from this place, I sent you the copy of a Tragedy 
I finished here, and desired your interest in bringing 
it on the stage; I have not yet heard of the vessel's 
arrival, and believe if she is safe, it will be too late 
for the company now in Philadelphia." In view of 
the unfinished state of the manuscript, "nothing but 
that fondness which every Author has for a perform- 
ance when it comes first from his pen," observes Smith 
with quiet humor, " would have made him propose it 
for the stage." Godfrey's surmise, that his manuscript 
would reach Philadelphia too late for the production of 
his tragedy by Hallam's Company at this time, proved 
well founded. The letter mentioned above did not 
reach Philadelphia until after the arrival there of the 
manuscript of "The Prince of Parthia." Douglas's 
Company completed its season on December 27, 1759 ; 
it was not to return to Philadelphia until November, 
1766, when the Southwark, which has been described 
as the "first permanent theatre on this continent", 
was opened. 

Upon the death of his employer, Godfrey left Wil- 
mington and returned to Philadelphia. No opening 
in business immediately presenting itself there, he 
procured some small commissions and sailed as a 
supercargo to the Island of New Providence. Re- 
turning by water in the early summer of 1763 to Wil- 
mington, to which he was now endeared by many 
happy associations, he might perhaps have written 
there a great poetic drama, foreshadowed by the 
budding genius displayed in "The Prince of Parthia" 
had not death suddenly singled him out. "It is with 
infinite regret I inform you", reads an "Extract of a 


Letter from a Gentleman in Wilmington, North 
Carolina",^ "that he, whom I esteemed one of the 
worthiest. of Friends (Mr. Thomas Godfrey, of your 
Place) is no more. Thursday, 25th July, he and 
myself set out on a small Journey into the Country ; the 
Day being very warm and he not much used to riding, 
I imagine, overheated him, for the succeeding Night 
he was seized with a most violent Fever and Vomiting, 
which desperately increasing, in seven days hurried 
him out of this mortal life." ^ Thus died at ten 
o'clock A.M., on the third of August, 1763, at the 
early age of twenty-six, the poetic and dramatic genius 
whose name is inextricably linked with North Carolina 
as the author of "The Prince of Parthia." Not with- 
out a peculiar interest in this connection does one 
read the following lines, inspired by warm admiration 
and tender sympathy, from the Elegy written by 
Godfrey's bosom-friend, John Green, the painter, 
which appears in the collected edition of Godfrey's 
works : — 

Ye gentle Swains of Carolina's shore. 
Who knew my Damon, (now, alas ! no more). 
By moon-light round his hallow'd grave repair. 
Strew sweetest flow'rs, and drop a sorrowing tear ; 
With never-fading laurel shade his tomb. 
And bid the rising bay forever bloom. 
Teach springing flow'rs their purpl'd heads to rise. 
And sweetly twining, write, Here Virtue lies. 
Sing in sad strains each venerable name, 

1 Pennsylvania Gassette, Sept. 29, 1763. 

" Evans describes Godfrey as "'of a corpulent habit of body." 


In Fortune's spite, that struggl'd up to fame ; 

By Virtue led life's rugged road along. 

Their lives instructive as their sweetest song. 

Say, while their praises tremble on the tongue. 

Thus liv'd this youthful Bard, thus gentle Damon sung. 


Thomas Godfrey occupies a significant position in 
the history of American literature. And this not 
solely by reason of the fact that he was the author of 
a single drama which had the unique distinction of 
being the first tragedy ever written by a native 
American and produced upon the professional stage 
in the United States. Wholly unshadowed by the 
gloomy forebodings of the Puritans, he harks back 
to the sources of English literature of the Eliza- 
bethan and Restoration eras. The publication of 
his poems in 1765 marks the beginning of a new epoch 
in American literature; for he was our first con- 
spicuous devotee of the principle of "art for art's 
sake." Godfrey was a zealous and devoted student 
of the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spencer, Pope, 
and Dryden; and his pastorals, love songs, and odes 
reveal the influence of Waller, Herrick, Wither, and 
the Cavalier Poets. Unlike the American poets who 
preceded him, his predilection is for esthetics, rather 
than ethics; beauty, not morality, is the goddess of 
his fancy. These juvenile poems addressed to Sylvia, 
Amyntor, and Chloe, with the loves of Damon, Celia, 
Thyrsis, Myra, Delia, and Corinna as the subjects of 
his reflection, not incapably sustain the literary tradi- 
tion; and they inspire the conviction that had God- 

James Logan 
After the painting in Independence Hall, Philadelphia 

Provost William Smith 
After the painting by Gilbert Stuart 


frey, who far surpassed in poetic endowment any 
native American who had preceded him, lived to 
develop and bring to full fruition his very unusual 
poetic genius, he would take high rank to-day in the 
history of American literature. 

The Philadelphia society of Godfrey's day was by 
no means deficient in men of taste, talent, and literary 
attainment. Pope and Dryden were then the literary 
dictators of Europe, and exerted a powerful influence 
in the formation of American literary taste. Yet with 
the men and women in this Philadelphia society who 
gave some attention to the study and practice of 
literature, authors in no way secondary to Pope and 
Dryden in influence and appeal were Shakespeare, 
Addison, Otway, Prior, and Congreve. The leading 
poets of Philadelphia in this period are James Ralph, 
the friend of Franklin, who wrote many dramas and 
the bitter attack on Pope, which stung the bard of 
Twickenham to the familiar couplet; James Logan, 
versatile and distinguished; Aquila Rose, whose 
" Poems on Several Occasions " contains the notable 
lyric, "To his Companion at Sea"; Samuel Keimer, 
Benjamin Franklin's friend celebrated in the " Autobi- 
ography " ; George Webbe, the author of " Bachelor's 
Hall," who shared with Keimer in the publication of 
the Pennsylvania Gazette; Francis Hopkinson, brilliant 
writer of occasional pieces ; Nathaniel Evans, the young 
clerical, and Provost Smith, author of the remarkable 
poem on visiting the Academy in Philadelphia in 
June, 1753 — the last three Godfrey's particular friends. 
Among lesser luniinaries may be mentioned Henry 
Brooke and Joseph Shippen. 


In October, 1757, appeared the first number of the 
American Magazine edited by Dr. William Smith. 
In January, 1758, a poem entitled "The Invitation" 
appeared in this magazine, with the following note : 
"This little poem was sent to us by an unknown 
hand, and seems dated as an original ; if it be so, we 
think it does honor to our City." In an article in 
the American Magazine of September, 1758, the editor, 
after speaking in particular of "The Invitation", an 
"Ode on Friendship", which appeared "in our last 
magazine", and "The Court of Fancy", then un- 
published, observes: "These pieces, and some others 
of his, fell into our hands by accident, soon after 
the appearance of the 'Invitation', which was found 
among the rest; and we reckon it one of the highest 
instances of good fortune that has befallen us, during 
the period of our Magazine, that we have had an 
opportunity of making known to the world so much 
merit." The "accident" here spoken of was doubt- 
less the discovery, through Benjamin West, of which 
Gait speaks, that the author of "The Temple of 
Fame" and "The Invitation" was none other than 
young Godfrey. The genial provost, as already men- 
tioned, interested himself to procure an ensign's com- 
mission for the young poet, and sent him off on the 
expedition against Fort Duquesne. Godfrey left manu- 
scripts of his poems with one whom Dr. Smith described 
as "a young gentleman a Painter in this place, who was 
his (Godfrey's) sole acquaintance and friend." While 
the description would fit either Benjamin West or 
John Green, it is scarcely open to question, from evi- 
dence already detailed, that Godfrey's confidential 


friend in this instance was Green. In the same article, 
the "editor" of the American Magazine says of God- 
frey: "When he went away he left his poetry in the 
hands of his foresaid friend (Green), by which means 
we enjoyed that pleasure which his own modesty and 
diflBdence would, perhaps, long have prevented." ^ 

Already, Dr. Smith had seen the manuscript of 
"The Court of Fancy", and in this same article de- 
clared that it would, after it had received the author's 
final corrections, "place him high in the list of Poets." 
The subject he described as one which "none but an 
elevated and daring genius durst attempt with any 
degree of success ; in managing which, he shines in all 
the spirit of true creative Poetry." This poem, how- 
ever, did not appear, it seems, and certainly not in 
book form, until 1762, when it was published in Phila- 
delphia.^ The next year, in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 
appeared, in the words of Nathaniel Evans, "that 
nervous and noble song of triumph called Victory, 
which was the last of our Author's pieces that was 

Among Godfrey's friends at Wilmington, North 
Carolina, were Archibald Maclaine, the talented 
Shakespearean scholar, and Cornelius Harnett, a true 
lover and patron of the arts. It was doubtless one 
or the other of these two cultured lovers of literature 
who rescued many of Godfrey's poems for posterity. 

> This article, entitled "Poetical Essays", pp. 602-603, is followed on 
p. 604 by Godfrey's "A Pindaric Ode on Wine." In a subsequent issue of 
this magazine appeared "A Night-Piece", containing the allusion to God- 
frey's friend. Green, the painter. 

2 "The Court of Fancy; A Poem." By Thomas Godfrey. Phila- 
delphia: Printed and Sold by William Dunlap. MDCCLXII. 4°, pp. 24. 


No doubt the "gentleman in Wilmington" who wrote 
the letter, an extract from which appeared in the 
Pennsylvania Gazette, of September 29, 1763, announc- 
ing the news of Godfrey's death, is the person referred 
to as follows in Evans' biographical sketch: "The 
manuscript pieces, therefore, were left in their primi- 
tive form, and they fortunately falling into the hands 
of a Gentleman, a friend of the Author, at the place 
where he died, were kindly transmitted to this City." 
From the very time of his death, the expectation was 
entertained that Godfrey's poems would be published 
in collected form; for the very issue of the Penn- 
sylvania Gazette which contained his obituary also 
contained the statement that "the Public will be 
favored with it ('a handsome Octavo Volume') as 
soon as those pieces which remain in Carolina can be 
transmitted here." The publication of Godfrey's work 
was executed with great care; and both Evans and 
Smith revised the poems, making only such changes 
as seemed absolutely necessary. Evans himself dis- 
claims credit for originating the idea of making a 
collection of Godfrey's poems, stating that the "pub- 
lication was undertaken at the motion, and under 
the countenance of some Gentlemen here (Philadelphia), 
of incontestable taste and judgement." Doubtless the 
prime mover in the matter was Provost Smith; for 
his grandson, Richard Penn Smith, says that he "col- 
lected the various poems of Godfrey, and published 
them, together with 'The Prince of Parthia', in a 
volume of 223 quarto pages." ^ Certainly Benjamin 

' "Life and Correspondence of Rev. William Smith, D.D. " By Horace 
Wemyss Smith, Philadelphia, 1879, 1, p. 391. It is inaccurate to say. with- 

Reverend Jacob Duche 

Joseph Reed 

Francis HopKiNaoN 

HtJGH Williamson 


Franklin was an active patron of the enterprise. The 
importance of the publication seems to have been 
recognized by Evans, who bespeaks "the candour of 
the public in behalf of this collection . . . the first of 
the kind that this Province has produced." 

The songs which Godfrey has left, while somewhat 
artificial in their attempted grace and lightness, reflect 
the spirit of the masters he has studied — Waller 
and Herrick. The song in the opening scene of the 
fifth act of "The Prince of Parthia" is full of the 
charm of a picture of Watteau, touched with the 
insouciant gallantry of the Restoration. Character- 
istic of this vein is also this dainty trifle : — 

When in Celia's heav'nly Eye 
Soft inviting Love I spy, 
Tho' you say 'tis all a cheat, 
I must clasp the dear deceit. 

Why should I more knowledge gain, 
When it only gives me pain ? 
If deceived I'm still at rest. 
In the sweet Delusion blest. 

Certain of Godfrey's poems attracted the attention 
of a foreign public, and won the mild approbation of 
the editors of the English Monthly Review. The poem 
"Victory" was denominated in this magazine a 
"pretty Poem"; and the "authors" say of the poet: 
"Mr. Godfrey possesses a considerable degree of 
poetical imagination." The opinion in England agreed 

out qualification, that he "published" this volume. He wrote the "Post- 
script", which u anonymous and occupies pp. xiii-Kxii. 


with that of Godfrey's friends : that he was a genius 
who needed education, training, and culture in order 
to develop and fulfil his poetic gifts. His "Epistle to 
a Friend, from Fort Henry", dated August 10, 1758, 
and written while he was garrisoned at that post, 
attracted much attention. Richard Penn Smith refers 
to it as "a poetic epistle, in which he describes the 
horrors of savage warfare ; the miseries of the frontier 
inhabitants, and the dreadful carnage of Indian mas- 
sacres. The description, although agonizing, is given 
with poetic force; and is valuable for being the first 
production of the kind published in America, on a 
subject so painfully interesting." Despite the exag- 
geration contained in the last part of this statement, 
the poem possesses an undoubted interest, both as a 
characteristic example of Godfrey's verse in this man- 
ner and as a piece of descriptive poetry. The following 
lines from the poem have not infrequently been cited 
as a "striking picture of the deep distress that over- 
whelmed the frontier settlements in that epoch of 
unsparing savage warfare : " 

Here no enchanting prospects yield delight. 
But darksome forests intercept the sight ; 
Here fiU'd with dread the trembling peasants go, 
And start with terror at each nodding bough. 
Nor as they trace the gloomy way along 
Dare ask the influence of a chearing song. 
If in this wild a pleasing spot we meet. 
In happier times some humble swain's retreat ; 
Where once with joy he saw the grateful soil 
Yield a luxuriant harvest to his toil. 


(Blest with content, enjoy'd his solitude, 

And knew his pleasures, tho' of manners rude) ; 

The lonely prospect strikes a secret dread. 

While round the ravag'd Cott we silent tread. 

Whose Owner fell beneath the savage hand, 

Or roves a captive on some hostile land. 

While the rich fields, with Ceres' blessings stor'd. 

Grieve for their slaughter'd, or their absent lord. 

The longer poems which Godfrey essayed, "The 
Court of Fancy", and "The Assembly of Birds" 
designated as "from Chaucer", both testify to his 
admiration for Chaucer as a poetic model. The lat- 
ter poem begins at the thirteenth stanza of Chaucer's 
poem, " The Assembly of Fowls " ; and the former poem 
is preceded by the outspoken confession of indebtedness 
to both Chaucer and Pope : "The learned reader need 
not be acquainted that the Author took the hint of 
the Transition from the Court of Fancy to that of 
Delusion, from Chaucer's Poem called the House of 
Fame, where the change is from the House of Fame 
to that of Rumour; and that he likewise had Mr. 
Pope's beautiful Poem on that subject in his eye, at 
the Time when he compos'd this Piece." 

"The Court of Fancy" is filled with imaginative 
pictures, and reveals in rich measure the picturesque 
fancy of this youthful student of Chaucer and Pope. 
Perhaps none of his verse that has come down to us 
so conspicuously establishes his superiority to his 
American contemporaries of this pre-Revolutionary 
period — in poetic imagery, in lavish use of pictorial 
evocations, and in the pursuit of beauty for its own 


sake. Many of the descriptions, if no longer congenial 
to modern taste, certainly compare favorably with 
similar descriptions in the verse of Godfrey's models. 
Take first this description of Fancy : — 

High in the midst, rais'd on her rolling throne. 
Sublimely eminent bright Fancy shone, 
A glittering Tiara her temples bound. 
Rich set with sparkling Rubies all around ; 
Her azure eyes roU'd with majestic grace, 
And youth eternal bloom'd upon her face, 
A radiant bough. Ensign of her command, 
Of polish'd gold wav'd in her lilly hand ; 
The same the Sybil to jEneas gave, 
When the bold Trojan cross'd the Stygian wave. 
In silver traces fix'd unto her Car, 
Four snowy Swans, proud of th' imperial Fair, 
Wing'd lightly on, each in gay beauty drest, 
Smooth'd the soft plumage that adorn'd her breast. 
Sacred to her the lucent Chariot drew. 
Or whether wildly thro' the air she flew. 
Or whether to the dreary shades of Night 
Oppress'd with gloom she downwards bent her flight. 
Or proud aspiriing sought the blest abodes. 
And boldly shot among th' assembl'd Gods. 

The transition is made from Fancy to Delusion, thus 
described : — 

Now swiftly forward false Delusion came. 
Wrapt in a fulvid Cloud appear'd the Dame. 
Thin was her form, in airy garments drest. 
And grotesque figures flam'd upon her vest ; 



O N 







M; rilO M A 5 G D f.R E T, Jiml 

of P n J j, *', * % i. r Wi lu' -, 

To which ii pfffixfd. 

Some ACCOUNT of the yhTn0i and hii fFilhUKCK. 

Veda fij/otur mn fit. iJ'^Jt, 


1 ii 1 I. A 1) E L f )! I A,'.. 

M ncc I, XV, 

Facsimile of Title-page to Godfrey's Collected Poems 


In her right hand she held a magic glass, 
From whence around reflected glories pass. 
Blind by the subtle rays, the giddy Croud 
Rush'd wildly from the Dome and shouted loud. 
The few remain'd whom Fancy did inspire 
Yet undeceiv'd by vain Delusion's fire. 

One notes not without amusement that in the ornate 
picture of the court, with the offspring of the Muses, 
Poetry, Painting, and Music, as attendants upon 
Fancy, Godfrey, like one of the Old Masters, has 
given himself a place no less modest than ridiculous : — 

Close at her Feet a Bard in raptures lost, 
Was plac'd, and wildly round his eye-balls tost ; 
Great Fancy was the theme ! the soothing strain. 
In floods of pleasure thrill'd thro' ev'ry vein. 

It is a fundamental mistake to presume that Godfrey 
has only a most tenuous claim to critical attention, 
and that due entirely to the accidental fact of being 
the author of the first American tragedy. Aside from 
the question of fact involved in the claim made for 
"The Prince of Parthia", it cannot be denied that 
Godfrey's verse is at last beginning to be recognized as 
worthy of study. In his pleasing study of "Penn- 
sylvania Poets of the Provincial Period",^ Mr. Francis 
Howard Williams singles out for especial commendation 
the following lines from Godfrey's "Victory", which he 
characterizes as of "unusual brilliancy and color", with 
a haunting cadence strongly suggestive of the author of 
the "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" : — 

' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography; April, 1893, p. 17. 


One perfect Ruby was her glitt'ring throne, 

Gold were th' ascending steps, but smear'd with blood. 

Close by her side bright laurel'd Glory shone. 

And Fame with her loud sounding Trumpet stood. 

The entire production he speaks of as "a remarkable 
one, because it is so diflFerent from the prevailing 
manner of the time, and because it contains certain 
stanzas and single lines of real felicity." The graceful 
little poem, "The Wish", has a double interest for us 
— both because it seems undoubtedly to have inspired 
Oliver Wendell Holmes' "A Modest Wish", and also 
because in its opening lines Godfrey bespeaks the 
modest place which he seems destined to occupy : — 

I only ask a mod'rate fate. 

And tho' not in obscurity, 

I would not yet be plac'd too high ; 

Between the two extreames I'd be. 

Not meanly low, nor yet too great. 

From both contempt and envy free. 

In polite circles in Philadelphia, Godfrey was so much 
admired that after his death, the prime movers in 
collecting and publishing his literary remains included 
such men as Benjamin Franklin, who subscribed for 
the largest number of copies ; Dr. William Smith, the 
Provost of the Academy; William Plumstead, in 
whose warehouse the Murray and Kean's Company 
opened their historic season in 1749 ; and Chief Justice 
William Allen who, fifteen years before, had officially 
expressed to the Common Council his fears that 
public performances of stage plays would be attended 




P O E M. 

BT Thomas Godfrey. 

And as Imagination bodies forth 
The Forms of 'things tinknown ; the Foci's Pen 
Turns them to Shape, and gives to airy Nothing 
A itxal Habitation, and a Nams, 


Printed and Sold bj Wiiliam Dunlap, M.DCCJ-XIt 

Facsimile of Title-page "The Court of Faxct ' 


with mischievous effects. Young Godfrey even 
achieved the distinction of being familiar author 
with society women of Philadelphia, satirically de- 
scribed by William Black as "female fishers for the 
reputation of wit"; in 1773, Miss Sarah Eve records 
in her journal that she is reminded of "those lines of 
our poet Godfrey : ^ 

' Curiosity's another name for man. 
The blazing meteor streaming thro' the air 
Commands our wonder, and admiring eyes. 
With eager gaze we trace the lucent path, 
'Til spent at length it shrinks to native nothing. 
While the bright stars which ever steady glow, 
Unheeded shine, and bless the world below.' " 

Godfrey's severest and most meticulous critic was his 
friend and patron. Provost Smith, who recognized in 
him a genius undeveloped. His final verdict upon 
the poems, therefore, has for us a peculiar interest — 
a verdict which concludes the "Postscript" he pre- 
pared for the collected edition of Godfrey's poems : — 
"Upon the whole, I persuade myself that, the 
severest critic, looking over smaller matters, will 
allow these writings of Mr. Godfrey, to be aptly 
characteriz'd, in the following lines from the Court of 
Fancy — 

'Bold Fancy's hand th' amazing pile uprears. 
In every part stupendous skill appears ; 
In beautiful disorder, yet compleat. 
The structure shines irregularly great.'" 

1 "The Prince of Parthia." Closing lines of Scene II, Act I. 



The first historian of the American theatre, in 
speaking of "The Prince of Parthia", categorically 
states: "Whether intended for the stage, or only for 
the closet, is unknown. That it was not performed 
by the players is certain." ^ This statement is in- 
accurate in two particulars. In the first place, we 
have already seen that the play was intended for the 
stage ; and in the second, there is no reason to doubt 
that it was performed. The Pennsylvania Journal of 
April 23, 1767, published an announcement that "The 
Prince of Parthia, a Tragedy, written in America, by 
the late ingenious, Mr. Godfrey, of this City, will be 
presented to-morrow at the New Theatre, in South- 
wark, by the American Company." * This announce- 
ment contained a list of the principal actors in the 
company; but unfortunately there has been dis- 
covered no account or criticism of the premiere of 
the first American tragedy.^ Seilhamer, the historian 
of the early American stage, has suggested a cast 
which, because of his minute study of the plays and 

• "A History of the American Theatre", by William Dmilap (N. Y. 
1832), p. 27. 

' A similar, though briefer, amioTincement appeared on the same date in 
the Pennsyhania Gazette. 

' There is no reason to doubt that the play was produced as announced ; 
and there has been found no announcement of .its withdrawal in any sub- 
sequent advertisement of the American Company. A week before Godfrey's 
play was announced, players, who were headed by the younger Hallam at 
that time, advertised the coming performance of The Disappointmerd,, an 
anonymous comic opera, or farce, by Colonel Thomas Forrest. This comic 
piece was recognized as being too broad for public representation, and the 
company made announcement that it had been withdrawn. Had Godfrey's 
play been withdrawn, doubtless a similar advertisement would have followed. 



players of the period, may be accepted as very prob- 
able, with the possible exception of the minor rdles. 
The suggested cast is as follows : — 

Artabanus, King of Parthia 

his Sons 


Barzaphernes, Lieutenant-General, 
under Arsaces 

„f ^ I Officers at Court 
Phraates j 

Bethas, a Noble Captive 

Thermusa, the Queen 

Evanthe, belov'd by Arsaces 

Cleone, her confident 

Edessa, Attendant on the Queen 

Mr. Douglass 
Mr. Hallam 
Mr. Tomhnson 
Mr. Wall 

Mr. AUyn 

Mr. Broadbelt 
Mr. Greville 
Mr. Morris 
Mrs. Douglass 
Miss Cheer 
Miss Wainwright 
Mrs. Morris.^ 

The author of "A Colonial Officer and his Times" 
hazards the sm-mise that "The Prince of Parthia", 
doubtless during the sessions of the North Carolina 
Legislature, "was put on the boards by the amateurs 
of Wilmington and greeted with thunders of applause." 
No evidence in support of this surmise has yet been 
brought forward. It may not come amiss to observe 
that professional actors of distinction played in North 
Carolina in this early period. In a letter to the Bishop 
of London, June 11, 1768, written from Brunswick, 
North Carolina, Governor William Tryon recommends 
for ordination orders a talented young actor named 
GiflFard, who gave as his reason for desiring to enter 
the ministry "that he was most wearied of the 

' "History of the American Theatre", I, 194. 


vague life of his present profession, and fully per- 
suaded he could employ his talents to more benefit 
to society by going into holy orders and superin- 
tending the education of youth in this Province." 
Clearly the type of dramatic performance given 
in North Carolina by Giffard and his company was 
of a high order; for Governor Tryon, a gentleman 
of cosmopolitan culture, thus concludes his letter: 
"If your Lordship grants Mr. Giffard his petition, 
you will take off the best player on the American 
Stage." 1 

Upon more than one occasion, it has been stated 
that "The Prince of Parthia" was once produced in 
Wilmington, North Carolina.^ After extended and 
laborious researches, especially in the newspapers of 
Wilmington and of Raleigh, I finally discovered the 
following paragraph, in an editorial under the caption 
"The Prince of Parthia", in the News and Observer 
of Raleigh, N. C, February 6, 1890 : » 

"We have an impression that the piece used to be 
in vogue among amateur actors before the war {i.e., 

1 N. C. Colonial Records, VII, 786-7. 

* "Libraries and Literature in North Carolina in the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury" (1896), in which the author. Dr. S. B. Weeks, states (p. 244) that 
"The Prince of Parthia" was presented by amateurs "at the old theatre 
there (Wilmington) about 1847"; "Wilmington"' in "Historic Towns of 
the Southern States", edited by L. P. Powell, 1904, in which Bishop J. B. 
Cheshire states (p. 244) that "The Prince of Parthia" was written in Wil- 
mington in 1759, and "was years afterwards produced on the stage by a 
company of local amateurs." Upon appeal to these gentlemen for in- 
formation, neither was able to cite me to the authority tor the above-quoted 

' The editor at this date was Captain Samuel A. Ashe, a native of Wil- 
mington, and the historian of North Carolina. 

Lewis Hallam 

Who played the title-r61e in The Prince of Parthia, Southwark Theater, 

April 24, 1767 


the "War between the States). Indeed we think that 
it and 'Box and Cox' were the first pieces we ever 
saw. It was a performance by the Thespians at the 
Old Theatre at Wilmington about 1847." ^ 

During the first half of the nineteenth century, a 
remarkable amateur dramatic organization fiourished 
at Wilmington, North Carolina. At the time he held 
command of all the colonial forces in Virginia during 
the French and Indian war, Colonel James Innes en- 
dowed the famous Academy there which afterwards 
bore his name.* This was the first private bequest 
for educational purposes in the history of North 
Carolina. Although the Academy was incorporated 
in 1783, the building was not erected until about the 
year 1800, when the number of inhabitants of Wil- 
mington was scarcely more than fifteen hundred. 
"Before the completion of the Academy building", 
says the antiquarian. Col. James Green Burr, "a 
theatrical corps had been organized in Wilmington, 
and an arrangement was made between them and 
the Trustees of the Academy that the lower part of 
the building should be fitted up and used exclusively 
as a Theatre, which arrangement was carried out by 
a perpetual lease which was made to the Thalian 
Association, the then and last name of the only the- 

' In all probability this was the authority for the statements cited in a 
footnote (2), p. 52. 

' Col. Innes, who may well have formed the acquaintance of Thomas 
Godfrey, resided at his seat, "Point Pleasant", about seven miles from 
Wilmington. He died at Wilmington on September 26, 1769. His wiU, 
endowing "a free school for the benefit of the youth of North Carolina", 
was made at Winchester, Va., on July 4, 1754, and probated at Newbern, 
Oct. 9, 1759. 


atrical organization that ever existed in Wilmington." ^ 
The Association passed through various stages of 
decline and revival, during the first half of the nine- 
teenth century; its fourth and last revival occurred 
in 1847. It is certainly probable that, in testimony 
of their pride in the circumstance that the first Amer- 
ican tragedy was written in Wilmington and by a 
poet of brilliant promise, the Thalian Association 
produced "The Prince of Parthia." A careful ex- 
amination of the files of the Wilmington Journal for 
the years 1847 and 1848 reveals no explicit notice of 
the performance of this play; but the evidence of 
Captain Ashe, who doubtless referred to " the Thalians " 
when he described the company as "the Thespians" 
(a generic term also for theatrical performers), is re- 
enforced by the circumstance that the farce, "Box 
and Cox", recalled by him in conjunction with "The 
Prince of Parthia", was produced by the Thalian 
Association * — on July 7, 1848, and probably a 
number of times before that date and after April 30, 
1847, when the Association was reorganized. The 
performance of "The Prince of Parthia" from the 
evidence before us, most probably occurred, if at all, 
on June 11, 1847, when the performance of a play 
not mentioned by titfe, is highly praised in the Journal.^ 

' "The Thalian Association of Wilmington, N. C, with Sketches of 
Many of its Members. By a Member of the Association." Wilmington, 
N. C. 1871. For the use of a copy of this very rare pamphlet, I am in- 
debted to the kindness of Mr. Clayton Giles of Wilmington. 

' Wilmington Journal. 

' In testimony of the elaborate repertory of the Thalian Association, the 
following partial list of plays produced by this remarkable dramatic com- 
pany during the years 1847 and 1848 may prove of interest : "The Lady of 


When the superb historical pageant was staged in 
Philadelphia on October 9, 1908, one of the most 
striking scenes presented was the impressive opening 
scene from the first act of Godfrey's tragedy, which 
depicts the return of the victorious Prince of Parthia. 
This scene was arranged by Mr. Joseph Jackson, an 
authority on the history of Philadelphia ; the costumes 
were designed by the well-known artist, Mr. Guernsey 
Moore, of Swarthmore; and the characters were im- 
personated by the members of the Enterprise Dramatic 
Club, of Germantown, the birthplace of Thomas God- 
frey, the elder.^ 

Acting under the belief that Thomas Godfrey was a 
member of the Academy which, with the College of 
Philadelphia, formed the nucleus of the University of 
Pennsylvania, the Zelosophic Society of that institution 
gave a performance of "The Prince of Parthia" in the 
New Century Drawing Room, on Friday, March 26, 
1915. — almost a century and a half after the first 
performance of the play. The likelihood of a . per- 
formance having taken place at Wilmington, N. C. 
in 1747 has not been hitherto known to students of 
the American drama; and the program of the per- 

Lyons", and *"Tia All a Farce" ("the first performance of the season", 
Nov. 26, 1847), "Lend Me Five Shfllings." "Speed the Plough", "Hunting 
the Turtle", "Feudal Times, or The Court of James the Third", "The 
Irish Attorney or Galway Practice in 1770", "The Poor Gentleman". "The 
Omnibus", "The Honey Moon", "State Secrets", "The Jew and the 
Doctor", "The Invisible Prince of the Island of Tranquil Delight". "The 
Gamester", "The Point of Honor", "London Assurance", "Damon and 

' Cf. "The Book of the Pageant", by J. Jackson, and arranged by E. P. 
Oberholtzer. Philadelphia, 1908, p. SO. For data concerning the pageant, 
I am indebted to Messrs. Oberholtzer, Moore, and Jackson. 


formance by the Zelosophic Society contained the 
statement: "The production of 'The Prince of 
Parthia' by the Zelosophic Society marks the first 
representation of the play since April 24, 1767." The 
play was produced by this ancient dramatic society of 
the University of Pennsylvania, which was organized 
as early as 1829, at the suggestion of Professor A. H. 
Quinn, the first secretary of the society upon its re- 
organization in 1892. Godfrey's tragedy was given, 
without scenery, under the direction of Mrs. Sara F. T. 
Price; and the exquisite costumes, which represented 
elaborate historical research, were designed by Mr. 
and Mrs. Guernsey Moore, of Swarthmore. "Al- 
though the play has little action and shows the ear- 
marks of an inexperienced dramatist", one reads in 
the account of the performance in The Pennsylvanian 
of March 27, 1915, "the attention of the audience 
was sustained from beginning to end by the sincerity 
and concentration of the cast." The performance 
was preceded by a brief address by Professor Quinn, 
tracing Godfrey's life in part, and in especial touching 
upon his connection with the University of Penn- 
sylvania, as a student of the Academy.^ "The Society 
feels very gratified over the results of its production," 
writes Mr. Francis J. Carr, Chairman Zelosophic 
Society Dramatic Committee for the production of 
"The Prince of Parthia." "We were a little uncertain 
as to whether the play would take well, but thought 
it worth while to try. Previously we had always given 
a modern comedy, but decided this year to try historic 
American drama, and so chose 'The Prince of Parthia.' 
1 CJ. letter of A. H. Quinn, The Nation, April 15, 1915. 


The interest shown was even above our expectations, 
and we consider that the play was the biggest success 
of any that we have given. The comments on the 
play were very generally favorable. Dean Quinn, of 
the College, who attended the play, said he was sur- 
prised to see how the lines seemed to hold the atten- 
tion of the audience, even though the action was 
rather slow and perhaps imperfect. The fact of 
the excellence of the lines themselves, as written 
by Godfrey, was something that impressed us par- 
ticularly in working up the play." 


It is customary for Godfrey's biographers, with the 
inaccuracy of ignorance, to state that his play is based 
upon an ancient story. As a matter of fact, one of 
the most significant features of the play is that, whereas 
it deals with certain historical figures, in arbitrary re- 
lations, drawn from the story of the kingdom of Parthia, 
the drama itself — the plot — is wholly the heir of 
Godfrey's invention. A brief survey of the historical 
characters and episodes utilized will serve to exhibit 
Godfrey's real originality, and his skill in constructing 
an effective plot from the most sterile material. 

That section of country, some three hundred and 
twenty miles east and west, and nearly two hundred 
miles north and south, east of the Caspian Sea and in 
the region lying south of the present Khorassan, was 
the domain of the Parthian kingdom. Its history 
belongs to the history of Persia, Greece, and Rome. 
It is important to observe that, just as the king of 


the Roman Empire was denominated Caesar, so the 
ruler of the Parthian kingdom was termed Arsaces. 

In Godfrey's play, the characters who play the 
leading r6les and are interlinked in the action, are 
Thermusa, Vonones, Artabanus, Vardanes, and Gotar- 
zes. As stated by Godfrey in the Preface to the play, 
Thermusa was "not the wife of King Artabanus, but 
(according to Tacitus, Strabo, and Josephus) of Phraa- 
tes; Artabanus being the fourth King of Parthia 
after him." * In fact, Musa, an Italian slave-girl, 
was the wife of Phraates IV, the parricide, who reigned 
from 37 B.C. to 2 B.C. ; and her son, Phraataces, con- 
spired with her to slay his own father, and seizing the 
throne, made her at once queen and concubine.^ He 
paid her the extravagant tribute of violating all his- 
torical tradition and placing her eflBgy upon his coins. 
The name, Thermusa, as used by Godfrey, is an error 
— due to the fact that the coins bore the fulsome 
flatteries paid her by Phraataces, the inscriptions 
reading not merely "Queen", but "Heavenly God- 
dess." Authentic specimens of Parthian coins bear 
So that the Oepfiovara of Josephus, whence Godfrey 
clearly derived the name, was an evident blunder, 
due to himself or to his scribe, for Oeii Mowa. The 
Parthian queen not only assumed the title 6ea, but 
also identified herself with the Muse Urania.' 

^ Cf. Josephus, Ani. Jud., zviii, 2. § 4 ; Tacitus, Ann., II, xi and x^ ; 
Strabo, xi, 9, § 2 and xv, i, § 36. 

' Josephus, Anl. Jud., xviii, 2, § 4. 

' "Catalogue of the Coins of Parthia." By Warrick Wroth. London, 
1903, Introduction, pp. xl and xli. 


Vonones, eldest son of Phraates IV and Musa, was 
elevated to the throne of Parthia, after the assassina- 
tion of Orodes in a.d. 8 ; but proving weak and effemi- 
nate, he was displaced by Artabanus III after a reign 
of only two years. In 34, Artabanus seized the Ar- 
menian throne, and appointed his eldest son, who 
bore the name as well as the title of Arsaces, to be 
king. In 35 a.d. Arsaces was murdered by his at- 
tendants at the instigation of Pharasmanes, King of 
Iberia, who usurped the Armenian throne. 

Following the death of Artabanus III, probably in 
A.D. 40, his two sons, Vardanes and Gotarzes, became 
rival claimants to the throne. The choice fell upon 
Gotarzes; but soon the nobles, revolted by his bru- 
tality in murdering his brother, Artabanus, together 
with his wife and son, deposed him, and placed Var- 
danes on the throne. After a succession of struggles 
between the two brothers, Vardanes in a.d. 45 fell a 
victim to a conspiracy, being murdered while hunt- 
ing ; and Gotarzes, now sole ruler, occupied the throne 
until his death in a.d. 51.^ 

Thus it will be seen that in this welter of parricide, 
fratricide, assassination, and incest, there is no motived 
dramatic story ready to the hand of Godfrey. From 
these barren materials he draws only the names, not 
the precise characters, of the historic personages ; and 
utilizes only the relentless ambition of the brothers, 
Vardanes and Gotarzes, for their father's throne, hav- 

1 Cf. "The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy", by G. Bawlinson, N. Y., 
pp. 215-251. "M^moire aur la chronologie et riconographie des Rob 
Farthes Arsacides", by A. de Longperier, Paris, 1863-1882. "A View of 
the History and Coinage of the Farthians", by J. Lindsay, Cork, 1852. 


ing as one result the murder by Gotarzes of his second 
brother, Artabanus, whom Godfrey identifies with 

During recent years, research has brought to light 
scattered records of productions and publications of 
plays in America far earlier than was imagined by 
William Dunlap, the first historian of the American 
theatre. If we do not confine our attention to the 
present bounds of the United States, we find that the 
first play both written and acted in North America 
was the masque, "Le TheS.tre de Neptune en la Nou- 
velle-France ", by Marc Lescarbot. This play was 
performed at Port-Royal, Acadie, on November 14, 
1606, in honor of the return of Lescarbot's chief, the 
Sieur de Poutrincourt, from the country of the Armou- 
chiquois." In 1640, Father Le Jeune and the Jesuit 
missionaries added certain American scenes to a French 
tragi-comedy, the title of which is unknown, and 
produced it at Quebec at some time shortly prior to 
September 10, 1640, in honor of Monseigneur the 
Dauphin.* The earliest record of a performance of 
a play within the present bounds of the United States 
sets forth that in 1655 a play, known as "Ye Beare 
and Ye Club", was acted in Accomac County on the 
eastern shore of Virginia by three citizens, Cornelius 

^ For assistance in the historical investigation I am indebted to Mr. 
Herbert Putnam, of the Library of Congress, and to Mr. Joseph Jastrow, Jr., 
of the Library of the University of Fennaylvania. 

2 This masque is contained in a volume, "Les Muses de la Nouvelle- 
France", Paris, 1609. Cf. F. L. Gay: Naiim, Feb. 11, 1909. 

' Account of Paul Le Jeiine in the "Jesuit Relations", dated K6bec, 
September 10, 1640. C/. W. J. Neidig : Nation. Jan. 28. 1909. 

n ^ 


Wilkinson, Philip Howard, and William Darby.' The 
rare volume by Anthony Aston, published about 1730, 
shows that there was play-acting in Charleston, South 
Carolina, and in New York at some time prior to 1702. 
In speaking of his arrival in this country, Aston, who 
had been an actor in the West Indies, says: "I ar- 
rived, after many vicissitudes, at Charles-Town full of 
shame, poverty, nakedness and hunger ; turned play- 
actor and poet, and wrote a play of one act on the 
country." Whether the play was ever published or 
produced is not known. 

The first play written and published by a resident 
of what is now the United States, so far as is at present 
known, was "Androboros", by Robert Hunter, Colonial 
Governor of New York, issued in 1714.^ It was not 
until 1751, it appears, that another play was published 
in this country, namely "The Suspected Daughter ; or. 
Jealous Father", a "farce in three acts, both serious 
and comic", by T. T. This play, which was printed 
in Boston, is probably the first play written by a 
native American to be published within the present 
bounds of the United States. 

"The Prince of Parthia", published in 1765, still 
holds unchallenged the claim made for it, of being 
not only the first tragedy written by an American, 
and published in America, but also the first play 
written by an American to be performed upon the 
professional stage. "The Pere Indien", by Le Blanc 
Villeneuve, and written while he was in the French 

1 Cf. Philip Alexander Bruce : Nation, Feb. 11, 1909. 
" "Early American Plays. 1714-1830." By Oacar Wegelin. 2d edi- 
tion, revised. N. Y. 1905. 


service in Louisiana, was produced in 1753 in the 
Governor's mansion in New Orleans — but there is no 
reason to believe that this play was performed by a 
professional company; and it is uncertain whether 
his play, "Poucha-Houmma", based upon a story he 
had heard while employed by the government among 
the Tchactas (1752-1758), was either published or pro- 
duced.^ The first American comedy, or comic opera, 
as it was called, that was accepted by a manager and 
put into rehearsal for production, was "The Disap- 
pointment; or The Farce of Credulity", by Colonel 
Thomas Forrest, of Germantown, under the pseudonym 
of "Andrew Barton, Esq." It was announced for 
production on April 20 by Mr. Douglass' company, 
at the Southwark Theatre, in Goddard's Pennsylvania 
Chronicle of April 18, 1767. It was announced as 
"just published" in the same issue of the paper. 
Doubtless because of its coarseness and immoral tone, 
it was hurriedly withdrawn ; although a diflFerent reason 
was assigned in the announcement in the Pennsyl- 
vania Gazette on the following Wednesday : "'The Dis- 
appointment' (that was advertised for Monday), as 
it contains personal reflections, is unfit' for the stage." 
The conjunction of the first American comedy ac- 
cepted for professional production with the first 
American tragedy, written, accepted, and produced, 
is remarkable. For it is scarcely open to question 
that "The Prince of Parthia", by a native Phila- 
delphian, was produced to banish the popular disap- 
pointment incident to the withdrawal of "The Dis- 
appointment" by Colonel Forrest, whose local repute 

' Alc6e Fortier : Modern Language Association, 1886. 


as a wag had raised high expectations of amusement. 
The tragedy followed immediately upon the with- 
drawal of the comedy, as evidenced by the announce- 
ment in the Pennsylvania Gazette of April 23, 1767.^ 


Among the influences which left their impress upon 
Godfrey and find betrayal in "The Prince of Parthia", 
we must reckon the "Cato" of Addison. And this 
as acted drama, no less than as a work of literature; 
for it is probable that Godfrey saw this play produced 
in Philadelphia. The richness of the Eastern back- 
ground and the barbaric features of the setting may 
well have been influential factors with Godfrey in his 
choice of situation and locale. Certainly, the de- 
ficiency of animated action in Addison's play is 
paralleled in Godfrey's tragedy. Nevertheless, we 
readily observe that the poetic fervor and youthful 
spirit of Godfrey accord more nearly with the chal- 
lenging tone of Marlowe, his comic bombast and 
"high-resounding terms", than they reflect the cold 
sententiousness and elegant, if lifeless, "correctness" 
of Addison. "Tamburlaine the Great", both in at- 
mosphere and setting, was perhaps a more suggestive 
source for Godfrey than "Cato" — even although he 
never had the former produced before him on the stage. 
Other minor influences may well have been operative ; 
for as long as two years before its publication, "The 
Prince of Parthia" was known to, a small circle of 
library illuminati in Philadelphia and described in the 

' G. O. Seilhamer : "History of the American Theatre before the Revolu- 
tion", 1888, 1, chapters xvn and xvni. 


Pennsylvania Gazette, perhaps by George Webbe or 
Samuel Keimer, Godfrey's fellow-craftsmen, in 1763, 
at the time of Godfrey's death, as a tragedy which 
"breathes all the Pathos of Otway." 

Godfrey's most unquestioned inspiration, however, 
— from the opening scene descriptive of Arsaces' 
triumphal return to the final scene of the suicide of 
Arsaces and Evanthe — is none other than the author of 
" Hamlet ", " Macbeth ", " Romeo and JuUet ", " JuUus 
Caesar ", and " As You Like It." One of the most strik- 
ing parallels is the resemblance oi the scene in Godfrey's 
play, in which the Ghost appears (Act IV, Scene 5), to 
the corresponding scene in " Hamlet ", Act III, Scene 4. 
Hamlet's visit to the Queen is made with the intention 
of upbraiding her sorely; and the apparition of the 
ghost of Hamlet's father strengthens him in the execu- 
tion of his intention. With due attention to the 
diflPerence in the situations, Thermusa visits her son 
Arsaces but is so struck with terror by the apparition 
as to be deterred from her murderous purpose. The 
similarity is carried further still, since the Ghost in 
Godfrey's play is apparent only to Thermusa just as 
in Shakespeare's play the Ghost is an hallucination 
perceived by Hamlet alone. Compare the lines in 
this passage from "The Prince of Parthia " : — 

Ghost of Artabanus rises. 


Save me — oh ! — save me — ye eternal pow'rs — 
See ! — See it comes, surrounded with dread terrors — 
Hence — hence ! nor blast me with that horrid sight — 






Your eyes seem fix'd upon some dreadful object. 
Horror and anguish cloath your whiten'd face. 
And your frame shakes with terror ; I hear you speak 
As seeming earnest in discourse, yet hear 
No second voice. 


What ! saw'st thou nothing ? 




Nor hear'd .'' — 


Nor hear'd. 

with the following lines from "Hamlet" : — 

Enter Ghost. 


Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, 
You heavenly guards ! . . . . 


Alas, how is't with you, 

That you do bend your eye on vacancy. 

And with the incorporal air do hold discourse ? 

Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep ; 

. . . Whereon do you look ? 


On him, on him ! Look you, how pale he glares ! 
. . . Do not look upon me ; 


Lest, with this piteous action you convert 
My stern effects : then what I have to do 
Will want true colour ! tears perchance for blood. 


To whom do you speak this ? 


Do you see nothing there ? 


Nothing at all ; yet all that is I see. 


Nor did you nothing hear .'' 


No, nothing but ourselves. 

And again we set Gertrude's "Alas ! he's mad !" beside 
the exclamation of Arsaces : " Alas, her sense is 
lost . . . !" The Ghost in Godfrey's play, like Ban- 
quo's ghost in "Macbeth" is not a character in the 
play, but merely a figment of Thermusa's disordered 
fancy; and Godfrey is bold enough in his plagiarism 
to insert Macbeth's remark to the ghost (III, iv, 
49-50) :— 

"Never shake 
Thy gory locks at me." 

in the mouth of Thermusa : — 

Ah ! frown not on me — 
Why dost you shake thy horrid locks at me ? 


Equally striking is the resemblance between the 
description by Gotarzes of the rescue of Vardanes from 
the Euphrates by Arsaces (I, i, 96-106) with the de- 
scription from Shakespeare's "Julius Csesar" (I, 2, 9&- 
114), by Cassius in the first person of his rescue of 
Caesar from the Tiber.^ The parallel, with its theme 
of ingratitude in both, stands out on comparison of 
the two passages printed below : — 


'Twas summer last, as we 
Were bathing in Euphrates' flood, Vardanes 
Proud of strength would seek the further shore ; 
But 'ere he the mid-stream gain'd, a poignant'pain 
Shot thro' his well-strung nerves, contracting i^all. 
And the stiff joints refus'd their wonted aid. 
Loudly he cried for help, Arsaces heard. 
And thro' the swelling waves he rush'd to save 
His drowning Brother, and gave him life. 
And for the boon the Ingrate pays him hate. 


For once, upon a raw and gusty day 

The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores, 

Caesar said to me, "Darest thou, Cassius, now 

Leap in with me into this angry flood, 

And swim to yonder point ?" Upon the word. 

Accoutred as I was, I plunged in, 

> This parallel was called to my attention by Professor C. Alphonso 


And bade him follow : so indeed he did. 

The torrent roared, and we did bufifet it 

With lusty sinews, throwing it aside 

And stemming it with hearts of controversy ; 

But er6 we could arrive the point proposed, 

Caesar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I sink." 

I, as ^neas our great ancestor 

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder 

The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber 

Did I the tired Caesar : and this man 

Is now become a god, and Cassius is 

A wretched creature, and must bend his body 

If Caesar but carelessly nod on him. 

There is a resemblance, though less obvious, between 
Orlando's rescue of his brother from the lioness in 
"As You Like It" (IV, iii, 98-132) and Arsaces' rescue 
of Gotarzes from the leopard (I, i, 57-75). An equally 
striking utilization of a famous Shakespearean episode 
and its handling is revealed in the final scene of "The 
Prince of Parthia", "Romeo and Juhet " affording the 
model. We see Evanthe, under the mistaken notion 
that Arsaces is dead, take poison ; and when Arsaces 
discovers the tragic fact and holds the dead Evanthe 
in his arms, he, like Romeo, takes his own life. Per- 
haps one should not quarrel with Vardanes for the em- 
ployment of Shakespearean phrases such as 

"This many-headed monster multitude. 
Unsteady is as giddy fortune's wheel 
As woman fickle, varying as the wind ; " 

which is a combination of the expression "many- 


headed multitude" from "Coriolanus" (II, iii, 16-17) 
and the line from "Hem-y V" (III, vi, 28) : 

"And giddy fortune's furious fickle wheel." 

In spite of these bold plagiarisms and appropria- 
tions, more or less justified, from Shakespeare — all of 
which should not be merely imputed as faults in the 
twenty-three year old Godfrey, but possess peculiar 
interest as testifying to his diligent study of the great- 
est of all models, — "The Prince of Parthia" is a work 
of very considerable individual merits. It seems to , 
me to be a merit, rather than a demerit, that Godfrey i 
in this drama does not strictly observe the "unities" 
of the classic formula, which was on his part an in- 
dependent deviation from the custom. Williams 
praises the play for its "passages of great nobility", 
and rightly regards it as "an^ssential element in the 
literary product of the (Provincial) period." In par- 
ticular, he notes: "The love-story is delicate and 
tender, and Godfrey, in his arrangement of the se- 
quence of his scenes, has displayed a sense of law of 
contrast, — a quality in which the Colonial poets were 
strangely deficient." ^ This play contains enough 
original thought, for all its manifest derivations, and 
enough poetic sensibility, for all its oblique reflections, 
to give it strength, beauty, and individual character. 
In reading the play we must also remember, in extenua- 
tion of some of its defects, such as elisions, unfinished 
lines, and misplaced accents, that it was left in an un- 
finished state, especially the last act, owing to God- 
frey's haste in transmitting the original manuscript 

' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, April, 1893. 


to Philadelphia, in the hope of having it produced upon 
the stage there. One may quote with approval the 
sensible observation of Nathaniel Evans : — 

"He (Evans) would only beg leave, therefore, to 
remark of the Tragedy the Prince of Parthia — That 
it is the first essay which our Province, or perhaps this 
Continent, has, as yet, exhibited of Dramatic Compo- 
sition — and, that there is possibly some merit even in 
endeavouring to overcome noble diflBculties, though we 
should happen to aspire after a flight beyond our years. 

'In great attempts 'tis glorious e'en to fall.'" 


A diligent research which I have made in regard to 
the last resting-place of the remains of Thomas God- 
frey has finally led to the identification of the spot. 
In 1747 or 1748 Michael Higgins, one of the original 
settlers of Wilmington, a faithful and well tried friend 
of the Church, presented to the Parish of St. James in 
Wilmington a lot on the corner of present Market and 
Fourth streets. This lot not being sufficiently large 
for the double piu-pose of a church edifice and a bury- 
ing ground, the Legislature of the province passed an 
act by which the vestry was authorized to use thirty 
feet of Market street for the front of the street; and 
this accounts for the location of the old building partly 
in the street.^ Nineteen years elapsed from the com- 
mencement to the completion of the first parish church 

'■ This act, which is the first found on record touching the parish, is in 
Martin's collection of private laws of the State, and bears date XXV 
Gleo. II., 1751. The old building was removed in 1839. 



















of St. James. The commissioners named for carrying 
into effect the provisions of the original act of 1751 
were Samuel Swann, Joseph Blake, William Faris, 
John Sampson, Lewis De Rosset and John Ashe, 
members of his Majesty's Council. From the pre- 
amble of this act it appears that the church was ex- 
pected to be built by the voluntary contributions of 
parishioners. By another act, bearing date XI Geo. 
in., 1770, ch. xiii, also found in Martin, the Hon. 
Lewis De Rosset and Frederick Gregg, Esq., are ap- 
pointed commissioners in the place of John Dubois and 
George Wakely, deceased, for finishing the church in 
Wilmington.^ It was while the old St. James' Church 
was in course of construction, namely on August 3, 
1763, that Thomas Godfrey died in Wilmington ; and 
his remains were laid to rest in St. James' Church- 
yard. His grave was marked with a monument of 
some description, which was undoubtedly still stand- 
ing as late as 1846, for in "An Imperfect Sketch of the 
History of the Town of Wilmington", written by the 
brilliant biographer of James Iredell, Griffith J. McRee, 
it is categorically stated in regard to Thomas Godfrey : 
"His grave is designated by a tombstone in the burial 
ground attached to St. James' Church." * There can 

' "Sketch of St. James's Parish", Wilmington, N. C, by "a member of 
the vestry", N. Y., 1874, pp. 15-17. The author of this pamphlet was the 
distinguished antiquarian, the hite Colonel James Green Burr. This 
pamphlet is an elaboration of the "EQstorical Notices of St. James's 
Parish, Wilmington", 1843, by the Rev. Robert B. Drane, D. D., sometime 
rector of the parish. 

* For this information I am indebted to Mr. William B. McKoy, the his- 
torian of Wilmington, who has supplied me with copies of the original 
article by McRee, in two parts, which appeared in the WUmington Chronieh, 
Sept. e and 16, 1846. 


be no doubt on this score; for it is supplemented by 
the statement of John Fanning Watson, who, in his 
Annals of Philadelphia, observes in regard to Thomas 
Godfrey : "His remains were designated there (Wil- 
mington, North Carolina) by a tombstone, in the 
ground of St. James' Church.^ Many of the old head- 
stones and footstones to the graves have long since 
crumbled into dust; a number are piled up near 
the present church. A most careful search, which I 
made in the summer of 1915, failed to bring to light 
Godfrey's tombstone. As long ago as some years 
prior to 1890, it is certain that Godfrey's tombstone 
had disappeared ; for in an address in the Opera House 
in Wilmington, on February 3, 1890, entitled "The 
Old Churchyard of St. James", the historian and anti- 
quarian. Col. James Green Burr, lifts aside for a brief 
moment the veil which hides from our curious gaze the 
young poet and his brief span of life on the lower Cape 
Fear : — 

"Some years ago, in the Spring time of the year it 
was, and long before the present so-called improve- 
ments had been made upon the grounds, I strolled into 
the old burial place of the dead. ... It is now 
almost deserted and greatly changed, but at the time 
of my visit, tall trees waved their untrimmed branches 
over the graves of those who once trod our streets, 
the rank undergrowth grew over many an old sand- 
stone slab, bearing a brief notice of the last resting 
place and virtues of the departed. It was towards the 
close of day, and the mild beams of the sun shone with 
tempered radiance. Here — there, all around me the 

1 Vol. I, p. 531, 1877 edition. 


graves of those who in former years carried lite and it 
may be happiness within the social circle. ... Thomas 
Godfrey, the son of the inventor of the quadrant, and 
the author of the first dramatic work written in America, 
lies buried in that old church yard. His grave is un- 
distinguished from those of the numerous congregation 
of the dead sleeping around him. Time has long since 
levelled the incumbent sod, and no stones were erected 
to mark the spot where his ashes repose. The 
memorials of him are few." ^ 

In this famous old churchyard there sleep in death 
Thomas Godfrey's erstwhile friend, once clamant 
voice of revolution, Cornelius Harnett, upon whose 
headstone, still standing, are engraved the lines from 
Pope's "Essay on Man" : — 
"Slave to no sect, he took no private road, 

But looked through Nature up to Nature's God ; " ^ 
and the parents of Captain Johnston Blakeley, the 
famous naval hero of the War of 1812, about whose 
mysterious loss at sea while in the flush of young man- 
hood romance still weaves its legends. A clue to the 
location of Godfrey's grave is afforded in the statement 
made by Griffith J. McRee, who had seen the tomb- 
stone, that Godfrey's remains "lie in St. James' Church- 
yard, not very far from the grave of Harnett." ^ The 
exact spot was very closely located in my presence 

' James Spruni Historical Monograph, No. 4. University of North 
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C, 1904, pp. 125-126. Colonel Burr was unaware 
of the fact that there had been a tombstone over Godfrey's grave, which 
was standing as late as 1846, a fact specifically stated by McRee. 

2 Epistle IV, lines 31-2. 

' "Life and Correspondence of James Iredell", New York, 1868, II, 
appendix, p. 601. 


by Mr. Eugene Martin, antiquarian authority of Wil- 
mington — the spot being some forty odd feet from 
Harnett's grave, in a line directed toward the middle 
of the church. 

In his "Elegy to the Memory of Thomas Godfrey", 
dated October 1, 1763, his devoted friend, Nathaniel 
Evans, thus begins the last stanza : — 

" Stranger, who e'er thou art, by fortune's hand 
Tost on the baleful Carolinian strand, 
Oh ! if thou seest perchance the Poet's grave 
The sacred spot with tears of sorrow lave ; 
Oh ! shade it, shade it with ne'er fading bays. 
Hallowed the place where gentle Godfrey lays." ^ 

May the time be not far distant when the pious 
wish of Evans shall be realized, and a fitting and per- 
manent memorial be erected over the grave of Thomas 
Godfrey, concerning whom and whose work the dis- 
tinguished historian of American literatm-e. Professor 
Moses Coit Tyler, has said: "Thomas Godfrey is a 
true poet, and 'The Prince of Parthia' is a noble 
beginning of dramatic literature in America." 


' This Elegy was published in the Gentleman's Magazine, of London, 
December, 1764. 




Parthian Coins 

1. Musa 

3. Artabanus III 

2. Vonones I 
4. Gotarzes 

5. Vardanes I 

Dramatis PeraaruB 


Artabanus, King of Parthia. 

Arsaces, \ 

Vardanes, [ his Sons. 

Gotarzes, J 

Barzaphernes, Lieutenant-General. under Arsaces. 

p. ' \ Officers at Court- 

sias, ] 
raates, J 
Bethas, a Noble Captive. 


Thermusa, the Queen. 
Evanthe, belov'd by Arsaces. 
Cleone, her Confident, t 
Edessa, Attendant oh the Queen. 

Guarda and Attendants 
Scene, Ctesiphon 


Our Author has made Use of the licentia poetica in 
the Management of this Dramatic Piece ; and deviates, 
in a particular or two, from what is agreed on by His- 
torians: The Queen Thermusa being not the Wife of 
Eling Artabanus, but (according to Tacitus, Strabo and 
Josephus) of Phraates; Artabanus being the fourth 
King of Parthia after him. Such Lapses are not un- 
precedented among the Poets; and will the more 
readily admit of an Excuse, when the Voice of History 
is followed in the Description of Characters. 

The prince of PARTHIA 

a tragedy 


The Temple of the Sun. 


He comes, Arsaces comes, my gallant Brother 
(Like shining Mars in all the pomp of conquest) 
Triumphant enters now our joyful gates ; 
Bright Victory waits on his glitt'ring car. 
And shows her f av'rite to the wond'ring croud ; 
While Fame exulting sounds the happy name 
To realms remote, and bids the world admire. 
Oh ! 'tis a glorious day : — let none, presume 
T' indulge the tear, or wear the gloom of sorrow ; 
This day shall shine in Ages yet to come. 
And grace the Parthian story. 


Glad Ctes'phon 
Pours forth her numbers, like a rolling deluge. 
To meet the blooming Hero ; all the ways, 

A 81 


On either side, as far as sight can stretch. 
Are lin'd with crouds, and on the lofty walls 
Innumerable multitudes are rang'd. 
On ev'ry countenance impatience sate 
With roving eye, before the train appear'd. 
But when they saw the Darling of the Fates, > 
They rent the air with loud repeated shouts ; 
The Mother show'd him to her infant Son, 
And taught his lisping tongue to name Arsaces : 
E'en aged Sires, whose sounds are scarcely heard. 
By feeble strength supported, tost their caps. 
And gave their murmur to the gen'ral voice. 


The spacious streets, which lead up to the Temple, 
Are strew'd with flow'rs ; each, with frantic joy. 
His garland forms, and throws it in the way. 
What pleasure, Phraates, must swell his bosom. 
So see the prostrate nation aU around him. 
And know he's made them happy ! to hear them 
Tease the Gods, to show'r their blessings on him ! 
Happy Arsaces ! fain I'd imitate 
Thy matchless worth, and be a shining joy ! 


Hark ! what a shout was that which pierc'd the skies ! 
It seem'd as tho' all Nature's beings join'd, 
To hail thy glorious Brother. ' 

' ■ .• 


Happy Partkia ! 
Now proud Arabia dreads her destin'd chains. 


While shame and rout disperses all her sons. 
Barzaphernes pursues the fugitives, 
The few whom f av'ring Night redeem'd from slaughter ; 
Swiftly they fled, for fear had wing'd their speed. 
And made them bless the shade which saf'ty gave. 


What a bright hope is ours, when those dread pow'rs 

Who rule yon heav'n, and guide the mov'ments here. 

Shall call your royal Father to their joys : 

In blest Arsaces ev'ry virtue meets ; 

He's gen'rous, brave, and wise, and good, 

Has skill to act, and noble fortitude 

To face bold danger, in the battle firm. 

And dauntless as a Lion fronts his foe. 

Yet is he sway'd by ev'ry tender passion. 

Forgiving mercy, gentleness atnd love ; 

Which speak the Hero friend of humankind. 


And let me speak, for 'tis to him I owe 
That here I stand, and breath the common air. 
And 'tis my pride to tell it to the world. 
One luckless day as in the eager chace 
My Courser wildly bore me from the rest, 
A monst'rous Leopard from a bosky fen 
Rush'd forth, and foaming lash'd the ground. 
And fiercely ey'd me as his destin'd quarry. 
My jav'lin swift I threw, but o'er his head 
It erring pass'd, and harmless in the air 
Spent all its force ; my falchin then I seiz'd. 


Advancing to attack my ireful foe, 
When furiously the savage sprung upon me, 
And tore me to the ground ; my treach'rous blade 
Above my hand snap'd short, and left me quite 
Defenceless to his rage ; Arsaces then, 
Hearing the din, flew like some pitying pow'r. 
And quickly freed me from the Monster's paws. 
Drenching his bright lance in his spotted breast. 


How diff'rent he from arrogant Vardanes ? 

That haughty Prince eyes with a stern contempt 

All other Mortals, and with lofty mien 

He treads the earth as tho' he were a God. 

Nay, I believe that his ambitious soul, 

Had it but pow'r to its licentious wishes. 

Would dare dispute with Jove the rule of heav'n ; 

Like a Titanian son with giant insolence. 

Match with the Gods, and wage immortal war, 

'Til their red wrath should hurl him headlong down. 

E'en to destruction's lowest pit of horror. 


Methinks he wears not that becoming joy 
Which on this bright occasion gilds the court ; 
His brow's contracted with a gloomy frown. 
Pensive he stalks along, and seems a prey 
To pining discontent. 


Arsaces he dislikes. 
For standing 'twixt him, and the hope of Empire ; 


While Envy, like a rav'nous Vulture tears 

His canker'd heart, to see your Brother's triumph. 


And yet Vardanes owes that hated Brother 

As much as I ; 'twas summer last, as we 

Were bathing in Euphrates' flood, Vardanes 

Proud of strength would seek the further shore ; 

But 'ere he the mid-stream gain'd, a poignant pain 

Shot thro' his well-strung nerves, contracting all. 

And the stiff joints refus'd their wonted aid. 

Loudly he cry'd for help, Arsaces heard. 

And thro' the swelling waves he rush'd to save 

His drowning Brother, and gave him life. 

And for the boon the Ingrate pays him hate. 


There's something in the wind, for I've observ'd 
Of late he much frequents the Queen's apartment, 
And fain would court her favour, wild is she 
To gain revenge for fell Vonones' death. 
And firm resolves the ruin of Arsaces. 
Because that fiU'd with filial piety, 
To save his Royal Sire, he struck the bold 
Presumptuous Traitor dead ; nor heeds she 
The hand which gave her Liberty, nay rais'd^her 
Again to Royalty. 


Thou hell-born fiend, how horrid is thy form ! 
The Gods sure let thee loose to scourge mankind. 
And save them from an endless waste of thunder. 



Yet I've beheld this now so haughty Queen, 
Bent with distress, and e'en by pride forsook, 
When following thy Sire's triumphant car. 
Her tears and ravings mov'd the senseless herd. 
And pity blest their more than savage breasts. 
With the short pleasure of a moments softness. 
Thy Father, conquer'd by her charms, (for what 
Can charm like mourning beauty) soon struck off 
Her chains, and rais'd her to his bed and throne. 
Adorn'd the brows of her aspiring Son, 
The fierce Vonones, with the regal crown 
Of rich Armenia, once the happy rule 
Of Tisaphernes, her deceased Lord. 


And he in wasteful war return'd his thanks, 
Refus'd the homage he had sworn to pay. 
And spread Destruction ev'ry where around, 
'Til from Arsaces hand he met the fate 
His crimes deserv'd. 


As yet your princely Brother 
Has scap'd Thermnsa's rage, for still residing 
In peaceful times, within his Province, ne'er 
Has fortune blest her with a sight of him. 
On whom she'd wreck her vengeance. 


She has won 
By spells, I think, so much on my fond father. 
That he is guided by her will alone. 


She rules the realm, her pleasure is a law, 
All offices and favours are bestow'd 
As she directs. 


But see, the Prince, Vardanes, 
Proud Lysias with him, he whose soul is harsh 
With jarring discord. Nought but madding rage, 
And ruffian-like revenge his breast can know. 
Indeed to gain a point he'll condescend 
To mask the native rancour of his heart. 
And smooth his venom'd tongue with flattery. 
Assiduous now he courts Vardanes' friendship. 
See, how he seems to answer all his gloom. 
And give him frown for frown. 


Let us retire, 
And shun them now ; I know not what it means. 
But chilling horror shivers o'er my hmbs. 
When Lysias I behold. 




That shout proclaims [Shout. 
Arsaces near approach. 


Peace, prithee peace, 
Wilt thou still shock me with that hated sound, 


And grate harsh discord in my offended ear ? 

If thou art fond of echoing the name, 

Join with the servile croud, and hail his triumph. 


I hail him ? By our glorious shining God, 
I'd sooner lose my speech, and all my days 
In silence rest, conversing with my thoughts. 
Than hail Arsaces. 


Yet, again his name, 
Sure there is magic in it, Pabthia's drunk 
And giddy with the joy ; the houses tops 
With gaping spectators are throng'd, nay wild 
They climb such precipices that the eye 
Is dazzl'd with their daring ; ev'ry wretch 
Who long has been immur'd, nor dar'd enjoy 
The common benefits of sun and air. 
Creeps from his lurking place ; e'en feeble age. 
Long to the sickly couch confin'd, stalks forth. 
And with infectious breath assails the Gods. 
O ! curse the name, the idol of their joy. 


And what's that name, that thus they should disturb 

The ambient air, and weary gracious heav'n 

With ceaseless bellowings ? Vardanes sounds 

With equal harmony, and suits as well 

The loud repeated shouts of noisy joy. 

Can he bid Chaos Nature's rule dissolve. 

Can he deprive mankind of light and day. 


And turn the Seasons from their destin'd course ? 

Say, can he do all this, and be a God ? 

If not, what is his matchless merit ? What dares he, 

Vardanes dares not ? blush not, noble prince. 

For praise is merit's due, and I will give it ; 

E'en mid the croud which waits thy Brother's smile, 

I'd loud proclaim the merit of Vardanes. 


Forbear this warmth, your friendship urges far. 

Yet know your love shall e'er retain a place 

In my remembrance. There is something hei-e — 

{Pointing to his breast) 
Another time and I will give thee all ; 
But now, no more. — 


You may command my service, 
I'm happy to obey. Of late yoiu- Brother 
Delights in hind'ring my advancement. 
And ev'ry boaster's rais'd above my merit, 
Barzaphernes alone commands his ear. 
His oracle in all. 


I hate Arsaces 
Tho' he's my Mother's son, and churchmen say 
There's something sacred in the name of Brother. 
My soul endures him not, and he's the bane 
Of all my hopes of greatness. Like the sun 
He rules the day, and like the night's pale Queen, 
My fainter beams are lost when he appears. 
And this because he came into the world, 


A moon or two before me : What's the diff'rence. 
That he alone should shine in Empire's seat ? 
I am not apt to trumpet forth my praise. 
Or highly name myself, but this I'll speak. 
To him in ought, I'm not the least inferior. 
Ambition, glorious fever ! mark of Kings, 
Gave me immortal thirst and rule of Empire.- 
Why lag'd my tardy soul, why droop'd the wing. 
Nor forward springing, shot before his speed 
To seize the prize ? — 'Twas Empire — Oh ! 'twas 
Empire — 


Yes, I must think that of superior mould 
Your soul was form'd, fit for a heav'nly state. 
And left reluctant its sublime abode. 
And painfully obey'd the dread command. 
When Jove's controuling fate forc'd it below. 
His soul was earthly, and it downward mov'd, 
Swift as to the center of attraction. 


It might be so — But I've another cause 

To hate this Brother, ev'ry way my rival ; 

In love as well as glory he's above me ; 

I dote on fair Evanihe, but the charmer 

Disdains my ardent suit, like a miser 

He treasures up her beauties to himself : 

Thus is he form'd to give me torture ever. — 

But hark, they've reach'd the Temple, 

Didst thou observe the croud, their eagerness. 

Each put the next aside to catch a look. 

Himself was elbow'd out ? — Curse, curse their zeal — 



Stupid folly ! 


I'll tell thee Lysias, 
This many-headed monster multitude. 
Unsteady is as giddy fortune's wheel. 
As woman fickle, varying as the wind ; 
To diay they this way course, the next they veer. 
And shift another point, the next another. 


Curiosity's another name for man. 

The blazing meteor streaming thro' the air 

Commands our wonder, and admiring eyes. 

With eager gaze we trace the lucent path, 

'Til spent at length it shrinks to native nothing. 

While the bright stars which ever steady glow. 

Unheeded shine, and bless the world below. 



Oh ! give me way, the haughty victor comes. 
Surrounded by adoring multitudes. 
On swelling tides of praise to heav'n they raise him ; 
To deck their idol, they rob the glorious beings 
Of their splendor. 


My royal Lady, 
Chace hence these passions. 



Peace, forever peace, 
Have I not cause to hate this homicide ? 
'Twas by his cursed hand Vonones fell, 
Yet fell not as became his gallant spirit. 
Not by the warlike arm of chief renown'd. 
But by a youth, ye Gods, a beardless stripling, 
Stab'd by his dastard falchin from behind ; 
For well I know he fear'd to meet Vonones, 
As princely warriors meet with open daring. 
But shrunk amidst his guards, and gave him death. 
When faint with wounds, and weary with the fight. 


With anguish I have heard his hapless fate. 
And mourn'd in silence for the gallant Prince. 


Soft is thy nature, but alas ! Edessa, 

Thy heart's a stranger to a mother's sorrows. 

To see the pride of all her wishes blasted ; 

Thy fancy cannot paint the storm of grief. 

Despair and anguish, which my breast has known. 

Oh ! show'r, ye Gods, your torments on Arsaces, 

Curs'd be the morn which dawn'd upon his birth. 


Yet, I entreat — 


Away ! for I will curse — 
O may he never know a father's fondness, 
Or know it to his sorrow, may his hopes 
Of joy be cut like mine, and his short life 


Be one continu'd tempest ; if he lives, 
Let him be curs'd with jealousy and fear, 
And vext with anguish of neglecting scorn ; 
May tort'ring hope present the flowing cup. 
Then hasty snatch it from his eager thirst, 
And when he dies base treach'ry be the means. 


Oh ! calm your spirits. 


Yes, I'll now be calm. 
Calm as the sea when the rude waves are laid. 
And nothing but a gentle swell remains ; 
My curse is heard, and I shall have revenge : 
There's something here which tells me 'twill be so, 
And peace resumes her empire o'er my breast. 
Vardanes is the Minister of Vengeance ; 
Fir'd by ambition, he aspiring seeks 
T' adorn his brows with Parthia's diadem ; 
I've fann'd the fire, and wrought him up to fury, 
Envy shall urge him forward still to dare, 
Anrf discord be the prelude to destruction. 
Then this detested race shall feel my hate. 


And doth thy hatred then extend so far, 
That innocent and guilty all alike 
Must feel thy dreadful vengeance ? 


Ah ! Edessa, 

Thou dost not know e'en half my mighty wrongs, 

But in thy bosom I will pour my sorrows. 



With secrecy I ever have repaid 
Your confidence. 


I know thou hast, then hear. 
The changeling King who oft has kneel'd before me. 
And own'd no other pow'r, now treats me 
With ill dissembl'd love mix'd with disdain. 
A newer beauty rules his faithless heart. 
Which only in variety is blest ; 
Oft have I heard him, when wrapt up in sleep. 
And wanton fancy rais'd the mimic scene. 
Call with unusual fondness on Evanthe, 
While I have lain neglected by his side. 
Except sometimes in a mistaken rapture 
He'd clasp me to his bosom. 


Oh ! Madam. 
Let not corroding jealousy usurp 
Your Royal breast, unnumber'd ills attend 
The wretch who entertains that fatal guest. 


Think not that I'll pvu-sue its wandring fires. 
No more I'll know perplexing doubts and fears. 
And erring trace suspicion's endless maze, 
For, ah ! I doubt no more. 


Their shouts approach. 



Lead me, Edessa, to some peaceful gloom. 
Some silent shade far from the walks of men. 
There shall the hop'd revenge my thoughts employ. 
And sooth my sorrows with the coming joy. 



No I'll not meet him now, for love delights 

In the soft pleasures of the secret shade. 

And shuns the noise and tumult of the croud. 

How tedious are the hours which bring him 

To my fond panting heart ! for oh ! to those 

Who live in expectation of the bliss. 

Time slowly creeps, and ev'ry tardy minute. 

Seems mocking of their wishes. Say, Cleone, 

For you beheld the triumph, midst his pomp. 

Did he not seem to curse the empty show. 

The pageant greatness, enemy to love. 

Which held him from Evanthe ? haste, to tell me. 

And feed my gready ear with the fond tale — 

Yet, hold — for I shall weary you with questions. 

And ne'er be satisfied — Beware, Cleone, 

And guard your heart from Love's delusive sweets. 


Is Love an ill, that thus you caution me 
To shun his pow'r ? 



The Tyrant, my Cleone, 

Despotic rules, and fetters all our thoughts. 

Oh ! wouldst thou love, then bid adieu to peace. 

Then fears will come, and jealousies intrude. 

Ravage your bosom, and disturb your quiet. 

E'en pleasure to excess will be a pain. 

Once I was free, then my exulting heart 

Was like a bird that hops from spray to spray. 

And all was innocence and mirth ; but, lo ! 

The Fowler came, and by his arts decoy'd. 

And soon the Wanton cag'd. Twice fifteen times 

Has Cynthia dipt her horns in beams of light. 

Twice fifteen times has wasted all her brightness. 

Since first I knew to love ; 'twas on that day 

When curs'd Vonones fell upon the plain, 

The lovely Victor doubly conquer'd me. 


Forgive my boldness, Madam, if I ask 

What chance first gave you to Vonones' pow'r ? 

Curiosity thou know'st is of our sex. 


That is a task will wake me to new sorrows. 
Yet thou attend, and I will tell thee all, 
Arabia gave me birth, my father held 
Great OflSces at Court, and was reputed 
Brave, wise and loyal, by his Prince belov'd. 
Oft has he led his conqu'ring troops, and forc'd 
From frowning victory her awful honours. 
In infancy I was his only treasure. 


On me he wasted all his store of fondness. 

Oh ! I could tell thee of his wond'rous goodness, 

His more than father's love and tenderness. 

But thou wouldst jeer, and say the tale was trifling; 

So did he dote upon me, for in childhood 

My infant charms, and artless innocence 

Blest his fond age, and won on ev'ry heart. 

But, oh ! from this sprung ev'ry future ill. 

This fatal beauty was the source of all. 


'Tis often so, for beauty is a flow'r 
That tempts the hand to pluck it. 


Full three times 
Has scorching summer fled from cold winter's 
Ruthless blasts, as oft again has spring 
In sprightly youth drest nature in her beauties. 
Since bathing in Niphates' ^ silver stream, 
Attended only by one f av'rite maid ; 
As we were sporting on the wanton waves. 
Swift from the wood a troop of horsemen rush'd. 
Rudely they seiz'd, and bore me trembhng off, 
In vain Edessa with her shrieks assail'd 
The heav'ns, for heav'n was deaf to both our pray'rs. 
The wretch whose insolent embrace confin'd me, 
(Like thunder bursting on the guilty soul) 
With curs'd Vonones voice pour'd in my ears 
A hateful tale of love ; for he it seems 

1 The Tigris. 


Had seen me at Arabia's royal court, 

And took those means to force me to his arms. 


Perhaps you may gain something from the Captives 
Of your lost Parents. 


This I mean to try, 
Soon as the night hides Nature in her darkness, 
Veil'd in the gloom we'll steal into their prison. 
But, oh ! perhaps e'en now my aged Sire 
May 'mongst the slain lie weltering on the field, 
Pierc'd like a riddle through with num'rous wounds. 
While parting life is quiv'ring on his lips. 
He may perhaps be calling on his Evanthe. 
Yes, ye great Pow'rs who boast the name of mercy. 
Ye have deny'd me to his latest moments. 
To all the offices of filial duty, 

To bind his wounds, and wash them with my tears. 
Is this, is this your mercy ? 


Blame not heav'n. 
For heav'n is just and kind ; dear Lady drive 
These black ideas from your gentle breast ; 
Fancy delights to torture the distress'd. 
And fill the gloomy scene with shadowy ills. 
Summon your reason, and you'll soon have comfort. 


Dost thou name comfort to me, my Cleone, 

Thou who know'st all my sorrows .'* plead no more, 

'Tis reason tells me I am doubly wretched. 



But hark, the music strikes, the rites begin, 
And, see, the doors are op'ning. 


Let's retire ; 
My heart is now too full to meet him here. 
Fly swift ye hours, tiU in his arms I'm prest. 
And each intruding care is hush'd to rest. 


The Scene draws and discovers, in the inner Part of the 
Temple, a large Image of the Sun, with an Altar 
b^ore it. Around Priests and Attendants. 


LTSi^ with BETHAS in chains. 


Parent of Light, to thee belong 
Our grateful tributary songs ; 
Each thankful voice to thee shall rise. 
And chearful pierce the azure skies ; 
While in thy praise all earth combines, 
And Echo in the Chorus joins. 

All the gay pride of blooming May, 
The Lily fair and blushing Rose, 

To thee their early honours pay. 

And all their heav'nly sweets disclose. 


The feather'd Choir on ev'ry tree 
To hail thy glorious dawn repair, 

While the sweet sons of harmony 
With Hallelujah's fill the air. 

'Tis thou hast brac'd the Hero's arm. 
And giv'n the Love of praise to warm 
His bosom, as he onward flies, 
And for his Country bravely dies. 
Thine's victory, and from thee springs 
Ambition's fire, which glows in Kings. 

KING. (Coming forward) 

Thus, to the Gods our tributary songs, 
And now, oh ! let me welcome once again 
My blooming victor to his Father's arms ; 
And let me thank thee for our safety : Parthia 
Shall thank thee too, and give her grateful praise 
To her Deliverer. 


All hail ! Arsaces ! 


Thanks to my loyal friends. 

VARDANES. (Aside) 

Curse, curse the sound, 
E'en Echo gives it back with int'rest. 
The joyful gales swell with the pleasing theme. 
And waft it far away to distant hills. 
O that my breath was poison, then indeed 
I'd hail him like the rest, but blast him too. 



My Royal Sire, these honours are unmerited, 
Beneath your prosp'rous auspices I fought. 
Bright vict'ry to your banners joyful flew, 
And favour'd for the Sire the happy son. 
But lenity should grace the victor's laurels. 
Then, here, my gracious Father — 


Ha ! 'tis Bethas 1 
Know'st thou, vain wretch, what fate attends on those 
Who dare oppose the pow'r of mighty Kings, 
Whom heav'n delights to favour ? sure some God 
Who fought to punish you for impious deeds, 
'Twas urg'd you forward to insult our arms. 
And brave us at our Royal City's gates. 


At honour's call, and at my King's command, 
Tho' it were even with my single arm, again 
I'd brave the multitude, which, like a deluge, 
O'erwhelm'd my gallant handful ; yea wou'd meet 
Undaunted, all the fury of the torrent. 
'Tis honour is the guide of all my actions. 
The ruling star by which I steer thro' life. 
And shun the shelves of infamy and vice. 


It was the thrift of gain which drew you on ; 
'Tis thus that Av'rice always cloaks its views, 
Th' ambition of your Prince you gladly snatch'd 


As opportunity to fill your coffers. 

It was the plunder of our palaces. 

And of our wealthy cities, fiU'd your dreams, 

And urg'd you on your way ; but you have met 

The due reward of your audacity. 

Now shake your chains, shake and delight your ears 

With the soft music of your golden fetters. 


True, I am fall'n, but glorious was my fall. 
The day was brav'ly fought, we did our best, 
But victory's of heav'n. Look o'er yon field. 
See if thou findest one Arabian back 
Disfigur'd with dishonourable wounds. 
No, here, deep on their bosoms, are engrav'd 
The marks of honour ! 'twas thro' here their souls 
Flew to their blissful seats. Oh ! why did I 
Survive the fatal day ? To be this slave. 
To be the gaze and sport of vulgar crouds. 
Thus, like a shackl'd tyger, stalk my round. 
And grimly low'r upon the shouting herd. 
Ye Gods ! — 


Away with him to instant death. 


Hear me, my Lord, O, not on this bright day. 
Let not this day of joy blush with his blood. 
Nor count his steady loyalty a crime. 
But give him life, Arsaces humbly asks it, 
And may you e'er be serv'd with honest hearts. 



Well, be it so ; hence, bear him to his dungeon ; 
Lysias, we here commit him to thy charge. 


Welcome my dungeon, but more welcome death. 
Trust not too much, vain Monarch, to your pow'r, 
Know fortune places all her choicest gifts 
On ticklish heights, they shake with ev'ry breeze. 
And oft some rude wind hurls them to the ground. 
Jove's thunder strikes the lofty palaces. 
While the low cottage, in humiUty, 
Securely stands, and sees the mighty ruin. 
What King can boast, to morrow as to day, 
Thus, happy will I reign ? The rising sun 
May view him seated on a splendid throne. 
And, setting, see him shake the servile chain. 

[Exit guarded. 



Thus let me hail thee from the croud distinct. 
For in the exulting voice of gen'ral joy 
My fainter sounds were lost, believe me. Brother, 
My soul dilates with joy to see thee thus. 


Thus let me thank thee in this fond embrace. 



The next will be my turn, Gods, I had rather 
Be circl'd in a venom'd serpent's fold. 


O, my lov'd Brother, 'tis my humble boon, 
That, when the war next calls you to the field, 
I may attend you in the rage of battle. 
By imitating thy heroic deeds. 
Perhaps, I may rise to some httle worth. 
Beneath thy care I'll try my feeble wings. 
Till taught by thee to soar to nobler heights. 


Why that's my boy, thy spirit speaks thy birth. 
No more I'U turn thee from the road to glory. 
To rust in slothfulness, with lazy Gownsmen. 


Thanks, to my Sire, I'm now completely blest. 


But, I've another Brother, where's Vardanes ? 


Ha ! what, methinks, he lurks behind the croud. 
And wears a gloom which suits not with the time. 


Doubt not my Love, tho' I lack eloquence, 
To dress my sentiments and catch the ear, 
Tho' plain my manners, and my language rude. 


My honest heart disdains to wear disguise. 
Then think not I am slothful in the race, 
Or, that my Brother springs before my Love. 


Far be suspicion from me. 


So, 'tis done. 
Thanks to dissembling, all is well again. 


Now let us, forward, to the Temple go, 

And let, with chearf ul wine, the goblets flow ; 

Let blink-ey'd Jollity his aid afford. 

To crown our triumph, round the festive board : 

But, let the wretch, whose soul can know a care. 

Far from our joys, to some lone shade repair, 

Li secrecy, there let him e'er remain, 

Brood o'er his gloom, and still increase his pain. 

END of the First ACT. 



LTSiAS, alone. 
The Sun set frowning, and refreshing Eve 
Lost all its sweets, obscur'd in double gloom. 
This night shall sleep be stranger to these eyeS, 
Peace dwells not here, and slumber flies the shock ; 
My spirits, like the elements, are waring. 
And mock the tempest with a kindred rage — 
I, who can joy in nothing, but revenge. 
Know not those boasted ties of Love and Friendship ; 
Vardanes I regard, but as he gives me 
Some hopes of vengeance on the Prince Arsaces — 
But, ha ! he comes, wak'd by the angry storm, 
'Tis to my wish, thus would I form designs. 
Horror should breed beneath the veil of horror. 
And darkness aid conspiracies — He's here — 



Welcome, my noble Prince, 


Thanks, gentle friend ; 
Heav'ns ! what a night is this ! 




'Tis fiU'd with terror ; 
Some dread event beneath this horror lurks, 
Ordain'd by fate's irrevocable doom ; 
Perhaps Arsaces' fall — and angry heav'n 
Speaks it, in thunder, to the trembling world. 


Terror indeed ! it seems as sick'ning Nature 
Had giv'n her order up to gen'ral ruin ; 
The Heav'ns appear as one continu'd flame, 
Earth with her terror shakes, dim night retires. 
And the red lightning gives a dreadful day. 
While in the thunder's voice each sound is lost ; 
Fear sinks the panting heart in ev'ry bosom, 
E'en the pale dead, affrighted at the horror. 
As tho' unsafe, start from their marble goals. 
And howling thro' the streets are seeking shelter. 


I saw a flash stream thro' the angry clouds. 
And bend its course to where a stately pine 
Behind the garden stood, quickly it seiz'd. 
And wrapt it in a fiery fold, the trunk 
Was shiver'd into atoms, and the branches 
Off were lopt, and wildly scatter'd round. 


Why rage the elements, they are not curs'd 
Like me ? Evanthe frowns not angry on them, 
The wind may play upon her beauteous bosom 
Nor fear her chiding, light can bless her sense. 


And in the floating mirror she beholds 
Those beauties which can fetter all mankind. 
Earth gives her joy, she plucks the fragrant rose, 
Pleas'd takes its sweets, and gazes on its bloom. 


My Lord, forget her, tear her from your breast. 
Who, like the Phoenix, gazes on the sun. 
And strives to soar up to the glorious blaze. 
Should never leave Ambition's brightest object. 
To turn, and view the beauties of a flow'r. 


O, Lysias, chide no more, for, I have done. 
Yes, I'll forget this proud disdainful beauty ; 
Hence, with, vain love — Ambition, now, alone. 
Shall guide my actions, since mankind delights 
To give me pain, I'll study mischief too, 
And shake the earth, e'en like this raging tempest. 


A night like this, so dreadful to behold. 
Since my remembrance's birth, I never saw. 


E'en such a night, dreadful as this, they say, 
My teeming Mother gave me to the world. 
Whence by those sages who, in knowledge rich, 
Can pry into futurity, and tell 
What distant ages will produce of wonder, 
My days were deemed to be a hurricane ; 
My early life prov'd their prediction false ; 
Beneath a sky serene my voyage began. 


But, to this long uninterrupted calm. 
Storms shall succeed. 


Then haste, to raise the tempest ; 
My soul disdains this one eternal round. 
Where each succeeding day is like the former. 
Trust me, my noble Prince, here is a heart 
Steady and firm to all your purposes, 
And here's a hand that knows to execute 
Whate'er designs thy daring breast can form. 
Nor ever shake with fear. 


And I will use it. 
Come to my bosom, let me place thee here. 
How happy am I clasping so much virtue ! 
Now, by the light, it is my firm belief. 
One mighty soul in common swells our bosoms, 
Such sameness can't be matched in diff'rent beings. 


Your confidence, my Lord, much honours me. 
And when I act unworthy of your love 
May I be hooted from Society, 
As tho' disgraceful to the human kind. 
And driv'n to herd among the savage race. 


Believe me, Lysias, I do not know 
A single thought which tends toward suspicion. 
For well I know thy worth, when I affront it, 
By the least doubt, may I be ever curs'd 


With faithless friends, and by his dagger fall 
Whom my deluded wishes most would favour. 


Then let's no longer trifle time away, 

I'm all impatience till I see thy brows 

Bright in the glories of a diadem ; 

My soul is fiU'd with anguish when I think 

That by weak Princes worn, 'tis thus disgrac'd. 

Haste, mount the throne, and, like the morning Sun, 

Chace with your piercing beams those mists away, 

Which dim the glory of the Parthian state : 

Each honest heart desires it, numbers there are 

Ready to join you, and support your cause. 

Against th' opposing faction. 


Sure some God, 
Bid you thus call me to my dawning honours. 
And joyful I obey the pleasing summons. 
Now by the pow'rs of heav'n, of earth and^hell. 
Most solemnly I swear, I will not know 
That quietude which I was wont to know, 
'Til I have climb'd the height of all my wishes, 
Or fell, from glory, to the silent grave. 


Nobly resolv'd, and spoken like Vardanes, 
There shone my Prince in his superior lustre. 


But then, Arsaces, he's a fatal bar — 

O ! could I brush this busy insect from me. 


Which envious strives to rob me of my bloom, 
Then might I, like some fragrant op'ning flow'r, 
Spread all my beauties in the face of day. 
Ye Gods ! why did ye give me such a soul, 
(A soul, which ev'ry way is form'd for Empire) 
And damn me with a younger Brotber's right ? 
The diadem would set as well on mine. 
As on the brows of any lordly He ; 
Nor is this hand weak to enforce command. 
And shall I steal into my grave, and give 
My name up to oblivion, to be thrown 
Among the common rubbish of the times ? 
No : Perish first, this happy hated Brother. 


I always wear a dagger, for your service, 

I need not speak the rest — 

When humbly I intreated of your Brother 

T'attend him as Lieutenant in this war, 

Frowning contempt, he haughtily reply' d. 

He entertain'd not Traitors in his service. 

True, I betray'd Orodes, but with cause. 

He struck me, like a sorry abject slave, 

And still withheld from giving what he'd promis'd. 

Fear not Arsaces, believe me, he shall 

Soon his Quietus have — But, see, he comes, — 

What can this mean ? Why at this lonely hour. 

And unattended ? — Ha ! 'tis opportune — 

I'll in, and stab him now. I heed not what 

The danger is, so I but have revenge, 

Then heap perdition on me. 



Hold, awhile — • 
'Twould be better could we undermine him, 
And make him fall by Artabanus' doom. 


Well, be it so — 


But let us now retire. 
We must not be observ'd together here. 


ARSACES, alone. 

'Tis here that hapless Bethas is confin'd ; 
He who, but yesterday, like angry Jove, 
When punishing the crimes of guilty men, 
Spread death and desolation all around. 
While Parthia trembl'd at his name ; is now 
Unfriended and forlorn, and counts the hours, 
Wrapt in the gloomy horrors of a gaol. — 
How dark, and hidden, are the turns of fate ! 
His rigid fortune moves me to compassion. 
O ! 'tis a heav'nly virtue when the heart 
Can feel the sorrows of another's bosom. 
It dignifies the man : The stupid wretch 
Who knows not this sensation, is an image. 
And wants the feeling to make up a life — 
I'll in, and give my aid to sooth his sorrows. 




Let us observe with care, something we, yet, 
May gather, to give to us the vantage ; 
No matter what's the intent. 


How easy 'tis 
To cheat this busy, tattUng, censuring world ! 
For fame still names our actions, good or bad, 
As introduc'd by chance, which ofttimes throws 
Wrong lights on objects ; vice she dresses up 
In the bright form, and goodliness, of virtue. 
While virtue languishes, and pines neglected, 
Rob'd of her lustre — But, let's forward Lysias — 
Thou know'st each turn in this thy dreary rule, 
Then lead me to some secret stand, from whence, 
Unnotic'd, all their actions we may view. 


Here, take your stand behind — See, Bethas comes. 

(They retire) 

BETHAS, alone. 

To think on Death, in gloomy, solitude. 

In dungeons and in chains, when expectation 


Join'd with serious thought describe him to us, 

His height'n'd terrors strike upon the soul 

"With awful dread ; imagination rais'd 

To frenzy, plunges in a sea of horror. 

And tastes the pains, the agonies of dying — 

Ha ! who is this, perhaps he bears my fate ? 

It must be so, but, why this privacy ? 

ARSACE8 and bethab. 


Health to the noble Bethas, health and joy ! 


A steady harden'd villain, one experienc'd 
In his employment ; ha ! where's thy dagger ? 
It cannot give me fear ; I'm ready, see. 
My op'ning bosom tempts the friendly steel. 
Fain would I cast this tiresome being oflF, 
Like an old garment worn to wretchedness. 
Here, strike for I'm prepar'd. 


Oh ! view me better. 
Say, do I wear the gloomy ruflSan's frown ? 


Ha ! 'tis the gallant Prince, the brave Arsaces, 
And Bethas' Conqueror. 



And Bethas' friend, 
A name I'm proud to wear. 


Away — away — 
Mock with your jester to divert the court. 
Fit Scene for sportive joys and froUc mirth ; 
Thinkst thou I lack that manly constancy 
Which braves misfortune, and remains unshaken ? 
Are these, are these the emblems of thy friendship. 
These rankling chains, say, does it gall Uke these ? 
No, let me taste the bitterness of sorrow. 
For I am reconcil'd to wretchedness. 
The Gods have empty'd all their mighty store. 
Of hoarded Ills, upon my whiten'd age ; 
Now death — but, oh ! I court coy death in vain. 
Like a cold maid, he scorns my fond complaining. 
'Tis thou, insulting Prince, 'tis thou hast dragg'd 
My soul, just rising, down again to earth. 
And clogg'd her wings with dull mortality, 
A hateful bondage ! Why — 


A moment hear me — 


Why dost thou, like an angry vengeful ghost. 
Glide hither to disturb this peaceful gloom ? 
What, dost thou envy me my miseries, 
My chains and flinty pavement, where I oft 
In sleep behold the image of the death I wish. 


Forget my sorrows and heart-breaking anguish ? 

These horrors I would undisturb'd enjoy, 

Attended only by my silent thoughts ; 

Is it to see the wretch that you have made, 

To view the ruins of unhappy Bethas, 

And triumph in my grief ? Is it for this 

You penetrate my dark joyless prison ? 


Oh ! do not injure me by such suspicions. 

Unknown to me are cruel scoffs and jests ; 

My breast can feel compassion's tenderness. 

The warrior's warmth, the soothing joys of friendship. 

When adverse bold battalions shook the earth. 

And horror triumph'd on the hostile field, 

I fought you with a glorious enmity. 

And arm'd my brow with the stern frown of war. 

But now the angry trumpet wakes no more 

The youthful champion to the lust for blood. 

Retiring rage gives place to softer passions. 

And gen'rous warriors know no longer hate. 

The name of foe is lost, and thus I ask 

Your friendship. 


Ah ! why dost thou mock me thus ! 


Let the base coward, he who ever shrinks. 
And trembles, at the slight name of danger. 
Taunt, and revile, with bitter gibes, the wretched ; 
The brave are ever to distress a friend. 


Tho' my dear country, (spoil'd by wasteful war, 
Her harvests blazing, desolate her towns. 
And baleful ruin shew'd her hagard face) 
Call'd out on me to save her from her foes, 
And I obey'd, yet to your gallant prowess. 
And unmatch'd deeds, I admiration gave. 
But now my country knows the sweets of safety, 
Freed from her fears ; sure now I may indulge 
My just esteem for your superior virtue. 


Yes, I must think you what you would be thought. 

For honest minds are easy of belief. 

And always judge of others by themselves. 

But often are deceiv'd ; yet Parthia breeds not 

Virtue much like thine, the barb 'rous clime teems 

With nought else but villains vers'd in ill. 


Dissimulation never mark'd my looks. 
Nor flatt'ring deceit e'er taught my tongue. 
The tale of falsehood, to disguise my thoughts : 
To Virtue, and, her fair companion, Truth, 
I've ever bow'd, their holy precepts kept, 
And scann'd by them the actions of my life. 
Suspicion surely ne'er disturbs the brave, 
They never know the fears of doubting thoughts ; 
But free, as are the altars of the Gods, 
From ev'ry hand receive the sacrifice. 




Heav'ns ! what a gloom hangs round this dreadful 

Fit habitation for the guilty mind ! 
Oh ! if such terrors wait the innocent. 
Which tread these vaults, what must the impious feel, 
Who've all their crimes to stare them in the face ? 


Immortal Gods ! is this reality ? 
Or meer illusion ? am I blest at last. 
Or is it to torment me that you've rais'd 
This semblance of Evanthe to my eyes ? 
It is ! it is ! 'tis she ! — 


Ha ! — what means this ? — 
She faints ! she faints I life has forsook its seat. 
Pale Death usurps its place — Evanthe, Oh ! 
Awake to life ! — Love and Arsaces call ! — 


Ofif — give her to my arms, my warm embrace 
Shall melt Death's icy chains. 


She lives ! she lives ! — 
See, on her cheeks the rosy glow returns. 



O joy ! O joy ! her op'ning eyes, again. 
Break, like the morning sun, a better day. 


Evanthe ! — 


Oh ! my Father ! — 


Ha ! — her Father ! 


Heav'n thou art kind at last, and this indeed 

Is recompense for all the ills I've past ; 

For all the sorrows which my heart has known. 

Each wakeful night, and ev'ry day of anguish. 

This, this has sweet'n'd all my bitter cup. 

And gave me once again to taste of joy, 

Joy which has long been stranger to this bosom. 

Hence — hence disgrace — off, ignominy off — 

But one embrace — I ask but one embrace. 

And 'tis deny'd. 


O, yes, around thy neck 
I'll fold my longing arms, thy softer fetters. 
Thus press thee to my happy breast, and kiss 
Away those tears that stain thy aged cheeks. 


Oh ! 'tis too much ! it is too much ! ye Gods ! 
Life's at her utmost stretch, and bursting near 
With heart-swoln ecstasy ; now let me die. 



What marble heart 
Could see this scene unmov'd, nor give a tear ? 
My eyes grow dim, and sympathetic passion 
Falls like a gushing torrent on my bosom. 


! happy me, this place, which lately seem'd 
So fiU'd with horror, now is pleasure's circle. 
Here will I fix my seat ; my pleasing task 
Shall be to cherish thy remaining life. 

All night I'll keep a vigil o'er thy slumbers. 
And on my breast repose thee, mark thy dreams. 
And when thou wak'st invent some pleasing tale. 
Or with my songs the tedious hours beguile. 


Still let me gaze, still let me gaze upon thee. 

Let me strain ev'ry nerve with ravishment. 

And all my life be center'd in my vision. 

To see thee thus, to hear thy angel voice. 

It is, indeed, a luxury of pleasure ! - — 

Speak, speak again, for oh ! 'tis heav'n to hear thee ! 

Celestial sweetness dwells on ev'ry accent ; — 

Lull me to rest, and sooth my raging joy. 

Joy which distracts me with unruly transports. 

Now, by thy dear departed Mother's shade, 

Thou brightest pattern of all excellence. 

Thou who in prattling infancy hast blest me, 

1 wou'd not give this one transporting moment. 
This fullness of delight, for all — but, ah ! 
'Tis vile. Ambition, Glory, all is vile. 

To the soft sweets of love and tenderness. 



Now let me speak, my throbbing heart is full, 
I'll tell thee all — alas ! I have forgot — 
'T'as slipt me in the tumult of my joy. 
And yet I thought that I had much to say. 


Oh ! I have curs'd my birth, indeed, I have 
Blasphem'd the Gods, with unbecoming passion, 
Arraign'd their Justice, and defy'd their pow'r. 
In bitterness, because they had deny'd 
Thee to support the weakness of my age. 
But now no more I'll rail and rave at fate, 
All its decrees are just, complaints are impious, 
Whate'er short-sighted mortals feel, springs from 
Their blindness in the ways of Providence ; 
Sufficient wisdom 'tis for man to know 
That the great Ruler is e'er wise and good. 


Ye figur'd stones ! 
Ye senseless, lifeless images of men. 
Who never gave a tear to others woe. 
Whose bosoms never glow'd for others good, 

weary heav'n with your repeated pray'rs. 
And strive to melt the angry pow'rs to pity. 
That ye may truly live. 


Oh ! how my heart 
Beats in my breast, and shakes my trembling frame ! 

1 sink beneath this sudden flood of joy. 
Too mighty for my spirits. 



My Evanthe. 
Thus in my arms I catch thy falling beauties, 
Chear thee ; and kiss thee back to life again : 
Thus to my bosom I could ever hold thee, 
And find new pleasure. 


O ! my lov'd, Arsaces, 
Forgive me that I saw thee not before. 
Indeed my soul was busily employ'd. 
Nor left a single thought at liberty. 
But thou, I know, art gentleness and love. 
Now I am double paid for all my sorrows. 
For all my fears for thee. 


Then, fear no more : 
Give to guilty wretches painful terrors : 
Whose keen remembrance raises horrid forms. 
Shapes that in spite of nature shock their souls 
With dreadful anguish : but thy gentle bosom. 
Whose innocence beams light and gayety. 
Can never know a fear, now shining joy 
Shall gild the pleasing scene. 


Alas ! this joy 
I fear is like a sudden flame shot from 
Th' expiring taper, darkness will ensue. 
And double night I dread enclose us round. 
Anxiety does yet disturb my breast. 
And frightful apprehension shakes my soul. 



How shall I thank you, ye bright glorious beings ! 

Shall I in humble adoration bow, 

Or fill the earth with your resounding praise ? 

No, this I leave to noisy hypocrites, 

A Mortal's tongue disgraces such a theme ; 

But heav'n delights where silent gratitude 

Mounts each aspiring thought to its bright throne. 

Nor leaves to language aught ; words may indeed 

From man to man their sev'ral wants express, 

Heav'n asks the piu-er incense of the heart. 


I'll to the King, 'ere he retires to rest. 

Nor will I leave him 'til I've gain'd your freedom ; 

His love will surely not deny me this. 

SCENE vni. 

VARDANE8 and LTsiAS (come forward) 


'Twas a moving Scene, e'en my rough nature 
Was nighly melted. 


Hence coward pity — 
What is joy to them, to me is torture. 
Now am I rack'd with pains that far exceed 
Those agonies, which fabling Priests relate. 
The damn'd endure : The shock of hopeless Love, 


Unblest with any views to sooth ambition, 
Rob me of all my reas'ning faculties. 
Arsaces gains Evanthe, fills the throne, 
While I am doom'd to foul obscurity, 
To pine and grieve neglected. 


My noble Prince, 
Would it not be a master-piece, iudeed. 
To make this very bliss their greatest ill. 
And damn them in the very folds of joy ? 


This I will try, and stretch my utmost art. 
Unknown is yet the means — We'U think on that • 
Success may follow if you'll lend your aid. 


The storm stiU rages — I must to the King, 
And know what further orders 'ere he sleeps : 
Soon I'll return, and speak my mind more fully. 


Haste, I/ysias, haste, to aid me with thy council ; 
For without thee, all my designs will prove 
Like night and chaos, darkness and confusion ; 
But to thy word shall light and order spring. — 
Let coward Schoolmen talk of Virtue's rules. 
And preach the vain Philosophy of fools ; 
Court eager their obscurity, afraid 
To taste a joy, and in some gloomy shade 


Dream o'er their lives, while in a moiirnful strain 
They sing of happiness, they never gain. 
But form'd for nobler purposes I come. 
To gain a crown, or else a glorious tomb. 

END of the Second ACT. 


QX7E£asr and edessa. 


Talk not of sleep to me, the God of Rest 

Disdains to visit where disorder reigns ; 

Not beds of down, nor music's softest strains. 

Can charm him when 'tis anarchy within. 

He flies with eager haste the mind disturb'd. 

And sheds his blessings where the soul's in peace. 


Yet, hear me. Madam ! 


Hence, away, Edessa, 
For thou know'st not the pangs of jealousy. 
Say, has he not forsook my bed, and left me 
Like a lone widow mourning to the night ? 
This, with the injury his son has done me. 
If I forgive, may heav'n in anger show'r 
Its torments on me — Ha ! isn't that the King ? 


It is your Royal Lord, great Artabanus. 




Leave me, for I would meet him here alone, 
Something is lab'ring in my breast — 



This leads 
To fair Evanthe's chamber — Ha ! the Queen. 


Why dost thou start ? so starts the guilty wretch, 
When, by some watchful eye, prevented from 
His dark designs. 


Prevented ! how, what mean'st thou ? 


Art thou then so dull ? cannot thy heart. 

Thy changeling heart, explain my meaning to thee. 

Or must upbraiding 'wake thy apprehension ? 

Ah ! faithless, tell me, have I lost those charms 

Which thou so oft hast sworn could warm old age. 

And tempt the frozen hermit from his cell. 

To visit once again our gayer world ? 

This, thou hast sworn, perfidious as thou art, 

A thousand times ; as often hast thou sworn 

Eternal constancy, and endless love. 

Yet ev'ry time was perjur'd. 



Sure, 'tis frenzy. 


Indeed, 'tis frenzy, 'tis the height of madness. 
For I have wander'd long in sweet delusion. 
At length the pleasing Phantom chang'd its form. 
And left me in a wilderness of woe. 


Prithee, no more, dismiss those jealous heats ; 
Love must decay, and soon disgust arise. 
Where endless jarrings and upbraidings damp 
The gentle flame, which warms the lover's breast. 


Oh ! grant me patience heav'n ! and dost thou think 
By these reproaches to disguise thy guilt ? 
No, 'tis in vain, thy art's too thin to hide it. 


Curse on the marriage chain ! — the clog, a wife, 
Who still will force and pall us with the joy, 
Tho' pow'r is wanting, and the will is cloy'd. 
Still urge the debt when Nothing's left to pay. 


Ha ! dost thou own thy crime, nor feel the glow 
Of conscious shame ? 


Why should I blush, if heav'n 
Has made me as I am, and gave me passions ? 


Blest only in variety, then blame 

The Gods, who form'd my nature thus, not me. 


Oh! Traitor! Villain! 


Hence — away — 
No more I'll wage a woman's war with words. (Exit) 


Down, down ye rising passions, give me ease. 
Or break my heart, for I must yet be calm — 
But, yet, revenge, our Sex's joy, is mine ; 
By all the Gods ! he lives not till the morn. 
Who slights my love, shall sink beneath my hate. 



What, raging to the tempest ? 


Away ! — away ! — 
Yes, I will rage — a tempest's here within. 
Above the trifling of the noisy elements. 
Blow ye loud winds, burst with your violence. 
For ye but barely imitate the storm 
That wildly rages in my tortur'd breast — 
The King — the King — 



Ha ! what ? — the King ? 


Evanthe I — 


You talk like riddles, still obscure and short, 
Give me some cue to guide me thro' this maze. 


Ye pitying pow'rs ! — oh ! for a poison, some 

Curs'd deadly draught, that I might blast her beauties, 

And rob her eyes of all their fatal lustre. 


What, blast her charms ? — dare not think of it — 
Shocking impiety ; — the num'rous systems 
Which gay creation spreads, bright blazing suns. 
With all th' attendant planets circling round, 
Are not worth half the radiance of her eyes. 
She's heav'n's peculiar care, good spir'ts hover 
Round, a shining band, to guard her beauties. 


Be they watchful then ; for should remissness 
Taint the guard, I'll snatch the opportunity. 
And hurl her to destruction. 


Dread Thermusa, 
Say, what has rous'd this tumult in thy soul ? 
Why dost thou rage with unabating fury. 
Wild as the winds, loud as the troubl'd sea ? 



Yes, I will tell thee — Evanthe — curse her — 

With charms — Would that my curses had the pow'r 

To kill, destroy, and blast where e'er I hate, 

Then would I curse, still curse, till death should seize 

The dying accents on my f alt'ring tongue, 

So should this world, and the false changeling man 

Be buried in one universal ruin. 


StiU err'st thou from the purpose. 


Ha ! 'tis so — 
Yes I will tell thee — for I know fond fool. 
Deluded wretch, thou dotest on Evanthe — 
Be that thy greatest curse, be ctu-s'd like me. 
With jealousy and rage, for know, the King, 
Thy father, is thy rival. 


VARDANES, alone. 

Ha ! my rival ! 
How knew she that ? — yet stay — she's gone — my 

What then ? he is Arsaces' rival too. 
Ha ! — this may aid and ripen my designs — 
Could I but fire the King with jealousy. 
And then accuse my Brother of Intrigues 
Against the state — ha ! — join'd with Bethas, and , / 
Confed'rate with th' Arabians — 'tis most likely 


That jealousy would urge him to belief. 
I'll sink my claim until some fitter time, 
'Til opportunity smiles on my purpose. 
Lysias already has receiv'd the mandate 
For Beihas' freedom : Let them still proceed. 
This harmony shall change to discord soon. 
Fortune methinks of late grows wond'rous kind. 
She scarcely leaves me to employ myself. 



But where's Evanthe ? Where's the lovely Maid ? 


On the cold pavement, by her aged Sire, 

The dear companion of his solitude. 

She sits, nor can persuasion make her rise ; 

But in the wild extravagance of joy 

She weeps, then smiles, Uke April's sun, thro' show'rs. 

While with strain'd eyes he gazes on her face. 

And cries, in ecstacy, " Ye gracious pow'rs ! 

" It is too much, it is too much to bear ! " 

Then clasps her to his breast, while down his cheeks 

Large drops each other trace, and mix with hers. 


Thy tale is moving, for my eyes o'erflow — 
How slow does hysicLS with Evanthe creep ! 
So moves old time when bringing us to bliss. 


Now war shall cease, no more of war I'll have, 
Death knows satiety, and pale destruction 
Turns loathing from his food, thus forc'd on him. 
The triflBing dust, the cause of all this ruin, 
The trade of death shall urge no more. — 



Evanthe I — 
See pleasure's goddess deigns to dignify 
The happy scene, and make our bliss complete. 
So Venus, from her heav'nly feat, descends 
To bless the gay Cythera with her presence ; 
A thousand smiling graces wait the goddess, 
A thousand little loves are flutt'ring round. 
And joy is mingl'd with the beauteous train. 


! Royal Sir, thus lowly to the ground 

1 bend, in humble gratitude, accept 

My thanks, for this thy goodness, words are vile 
T' express the image of my lively thought. 
And speak the grateful fulness of my heart. 
All I can say, is that I now am happy, 
And that thy giving hand has made me blest. 


O ! rise, Evanthe rise, this lowly posture 

Suits not with charms hke thine, they should command. 


And ev'ry heart exult in thy behests ; — 
But, Where's thy aged Sire ? 


This sudden turn 

Of fortune has so wrought upon his frame, 

His Umbs could not support him to thy presence. 


This, this is truly great, this is the Hero, 

Like heav'n, to scatter blessings 'mong mankind. 

And e'er delight in making others happy. 

Cold is the praise which waits the victor's triumph, 

(Who thro' a sea has rush'd to glory), 

To the o'erflowings of a grateful heart. 

By obhgations conquer'd : Yet, extend 

Thy boimty unto me. (Kneels) 


Ha ! rise Arsaces. 


Not till you grant my boon. 


Speak, and 'tis thine — 
Wide thro' our kingdom let thy eager wishes 
Search for some jewel worthy of thy seeing ; 
Something that's fit to show the donor's bounty. 
And by the glorious sun, our worship'd God, 
Thou shalt not have denial ; e'en my crown 
Shall gild thy brows with shining beams of Empire. 
With pleasure I'll resign to thee my honours, 
I long for calm retirement's softer joys. 



Long may you wear it, grant it bounteous heav'n. 

And happiness attend it ; 'tis my pray'r 

That daily rises with the early sweets 

Of nature's incense, and the lark's loud strain. 

'Tis not the unruly transport of ambition 

That urges my desires to ask your crown ; 

Let the vain wretch, who prides in gay dominion, 

Who thinks not of the great ones weighty cares. 

Enjoy his lofty wish, wide spreading rule. 

The treasure which I ask, put in the scale. 

Would over-balance all that Kings can boast. 

Empire and diadems. 


Away, that thought — 
Name it, haste — speak. 


For all the dang'rous toil. 
Thirst, hunger, marches long that I've endur'd. 
For all the blood I've in thy service spent, 
Reward^me with Evanthe. 


Ha ! what said'st thou ? — 


The King is mov'd, and angry bites his Up. — 

Thro' my benighted soul all-chearing hope (Aside) 

Beams, like an orient sun, reviving joy. 



The stern Vonones ne'er could boast a merit 
But loving her. 


Ah ! curse the hated name — 
Yes, I remember when the fell ruflSan 
Directed all his fury at my life ; 
Then sent, by pitying heav'n, t' assert the right 
Of injur'd Majesty, thou, Arsaces, 
Taught him the duty he ne'er knew before, 
And laid the Traitor dead. 


My Royal Sire ! 


My Liege, the Prince still kneels. 


Ha ! — rebel, off — (Strikes him) 
What, Lysias, did I strike thee ? forgive my rage — 
The name of curs'd Vonones fires my blood, 
And gives me up to wrath. — 


I am your slave, 
Sway'd by your pleasure — when I forget it. 
May this keen dagger, which I mean to hide, 
Deep in his bosom, pierce my vitals thro'. (Aside) 


Did'st thou not name Evanthe ? 



I did, my Lord ! 
And, say, whom should I name but her, in whom 
My soul has center'd all her happiness ? 
Nor can'st thou blame me, view her wond'rous charms. 
She's all perfection ; bounteous heav'n has f orm'd her 
To be the joy, and wonder of mankind ; 
But language is too vile to speak her beauties. 
Her ev'ry pow'r of glowing fancy's lost : 
Rose blush secure, ye lilies still enjoy 
Your silver whiteness, I'll not rob your charms 
To deck the bright comparison ; for here 
It sure must fail. 


He's wanton in her praise — (Aside) 
I tell thee. Prince, hadst thou as many tongues, 
As days have wasted since creation's birth. 
They were too few to tell the mighty theme. 


I'm lost ! I'm lost ! (Aside) 


Then I'll be dumb for ever. 


O rash and fatal oath ! is there no way. 
No winding path to shun this precipice. 
But must I fall and dash my hopes to atoms ? 
In vain I strive, thought but perplexes me, 
Yet shews no hold to bear me up — now, hold 
My heart a while — she's thine — 'tis done. 



In deep 
Prostration, I thank my Royal Father. 


A sudden pain shoots thro' my trembling breast — 
Lend me thy arm Vardanes — cruel pow'rs ! 



EVANTHB. (after a pause) 

E'er since the dawn of my unhappy life 
Joy never shone serenely on my soul ; 
Still something interven'd to cloud my day. 
Tell me, ye pow'rs, unfold the hidden crime 
For which I'm doom'd to this eternal woe. 
Thus still to number o'er my hours with tears ? 
The Gods are just I know, nor are decrees 
In hurry shuffl'd out, but where the bolt 
Takes its direction justice points the mark. 
Yet still in vain I search within my breast, 
I find no sins are there to shudder at — 
Nought but the common frailties of our natures. 
Arsaces, — Oh ! — 


Ha ! why that look of anguish ? 
Why didst thou name me with that sound of sorrow ? 
Ah ! say, why stream those gushing tears so fast 
From their bright fountain ? sparkling joy should now 


Be lighten'd in thine eye, and pleasure glow 
Upon thy rosy cheek ; — ye sorrows hence — 
"Tis love shall triumph now. 


Oh ! (Sighs) 


What means that sigh ? 
Tell me why heaves thy breast with such emotion? 
Some dreadful thought is lab'ring for a vent. 
Haste, give it loose, 'ere strengthen'd by confinement 
It wrecks thy frame, and tears its snowy prison. '^ > j- ■- 
Is sorrow then so pleasing that you hoard it 
With as much love, as misers do their gold ? 
Give me my share of sorrows. 


Ah ! too soon 
You'll know what I would hide. 


Be it from thee — 
The dreadful tale, when told by thee, shall please; 
Haste, to produce it with its native terrors. 
My steady soul shall still remain unshaken ; 
For who when bless'd with beauties like to thine 
Would e'er permit a sorrow to intrude ? 
Far hence in darksome shades does sorrow dwell, 
Where hapless wretches thro' the awful gloom. 
Echo their woes, and sighing to the winds, 
Augment with tears the gently murm'ring stream ; 
But ne'er disturbs such happiness as mine. 



Oh ! 'tis not all thy boasted happiness, 
Can save thee from disquietude and care ; 
Then build not too securely on these joys, 
For envious sorrow soon will undermine. 
And let the goodly structure fall to ruin. 


I charge thee, by our mutual vows, Evanthe, 
Tell me, nor longer keep me in suspense : 
Give me to know the utmost rage of fate. 


Then know — impossible ! — 


Ha ! dost thou fear 
To shock me ? — 


Know, thy Father — loves Evanthe. 


Loves thee .'' 


Yea, e'en to distraction loves me. 
Oft at my feet he's told the moving tale. 
And woo'd me with the ardency of youth. 
I pitied him indeed, but that was all. 
Thou would'st have pitied too. 


I fear 'tis true ; 
A thousand crouding circumstances speak it. 


Ye cruel Gods ! I've wreck'd a Father's peace, 
Oh ! bitter thought ! 


Didst thou observe, Arsaces, 
How reluctant he gave me to thy arms ? 


Yes, I observ'd that when he gave thee up. 
It seem'd as tho' he gave his precious life. 
And who'd forego the heav'n of thy love ? 
To rest on thy soft swelling breast, and in 
Sweet slumbers sooth each sharp intruding care ? 
Oh ! it were bliss, such as immortals taste. 
To press thy ruby lips distilling sweets. 
Or circl'd in thy snowy arms to snatch 
A joy, that Gods — 7 Jf ^ 


Come, then, my much-lov'd Prince, 
Let's seek the shelter of some kind retreat. 
Happy Arabia opens wide her arms. 
There may we find some friendly soUtude, 
Far from the noise and hurry of the Court. 
Ambitious views shall never blast our joys. 
Or tyrant Fathers triumph o'er our wills : 
There may we live like the first happy pair 
Cloath'd in primeval innocence secure. 
Our food untainted by luxurious arts. 
Plain, simple, as our Uves, shall not destroy 
The health it should sustain ; while the clear brook 
Affords the cooling draught our thirsts to quench. 
There, hand in hand, we'll trace the citron grove, 


While with the songsters' round I join my voice. 
To hush thy cares and calm thy ruffl'd soul : 
Or, on some flow'ry bank reclin'd, my strains 
Shall captivate the natives of the stream. 
While on its crystal lap ourselves we view. 


I see before us a wide sea of sorrows, 
Th' angry waves roll forward to o'erwhelm us. 
Black clouds arise, and the wind whistles loud. 
But yet, oh ! could I save thee from the wreck. 
Thou beauteous casket, where my joys are stor'd, 
Let the storm rage with double violence. 
Smiling I'd view its wide extended horrors. 


'Tis not enough that we do know the ill. 
Say, shall we calmly see the tempest rise. 
And seek no shelter from th' inclement sky, 
But bid it rage ? — 


Ha ! will he force thee from me ? 
What, tear thee from my fond and bleeding heart ? 
And must I lose thee ever ? dreadful word ! 
Never to gaze upon thy beauties more ? 
Never to taste the sweetness of thy lips ? 
Never to know the joys of mutual love ? 
Never ! — Oh ! let me lose the pow'r of thinking, 
For thought is near allied to desperation. 
Why, cruel Sire — why did you give me life. 
And load it with a weight of wretchedness ? 
Take back my being, or relieve my sorrows — 


Ha ! art thou not Evanthe ? — Art thou not 
Thy lovely Maid, who bless'd the fond Arsaces. 



O, my lov'd Lord, recall your scatter'd spir'ts, 
Alas ! I fear your senses are unsettl'd. 


Yes, I would leave this dull and heavy sense. 

Let me grow mad ; perhaps, I then may gain 

Some joy, by kind imagination form'd. 

Beyond reality. — O ! my Evanthe ! 

Why was I curs'd with empire ? born to rule ? — 

Would I had been some humble Peasant's son. 

And thou some Shepherd's daughter on the plain ; 

My throne some hillock, and my flock my subjects. 

My crook my sceptre, and my faithful dog 

My only guard ; nor curs'd with dreams of greatness. 

At early dawn I'd hail the coming day. 

And join the lark the rival of his lay ; 

At sultry noon to some kind shade repair, 

Thus joyful pass the hours, my only care. 

To guard my flock, and please the yielding Fair. 

KING. — VAKDANE8, behind the Scene. 


I will not think, to think is torment — Ha ! 
See, how they twine ! ye furies cut their hold. 


Now their hot blood beats loud to love's alarms ; 
Sigh presses sigh, while from their sparkling eyes 
Flashes desire — Oh ! ye bright heav'nly beings, 
Who pitying bend to suppliant Lovers pray'rs. 
And aid them in extremity, assist me ! 


Thus, for the Trojan, mourn'd the Queen of Carthage ; 

So, on the shore she raving stood, and saw 

His navy leave her hospitable shore. 

In vain she curs'd the wind which fiU'd their sails. 

And bore the emblem of its change away. 

(Comes forward) 


Vardanes — ha ! — come here, I know thou lov'st me. 


I do my Lord, but, say, what busy villain 
Durst e'er approach your ear, with coz'ning tales. 
And urge you to a doubt ? 


None, none believe me. 
I'll ne'er oppress thy love with fearful doubt — 
A little nigher — let me lean upon thee — 
And thou be my support — for now I mean 
T' unbosom to thee free without restraint : 
Search all the deep recesses of my soul. 
And open ev'ry darling thought before thee. 
Which long I've secreted with jealous care. 
Pray, mark me well. 


I will, my Royal Sire. 



On Anna thus reclin'd the love-sick Dido ; 
Thus to her cheek laid hers with gentle pressure. 
And wet her sister with a pearly show'r, 
Which fell from her sad eyes, then told her tale. 
While gentle Anna gave a pitying tear, 
And own'd 'twas moving — thou canst pity too, 
I know thy nature tender and engaging. 


Tell me, my gracious Lord, what moves you thus ? 
Why is your breast distracted with these tumults ? 
Teach me some method how to sooth your sorrows. 
And give your heart its former peace and joy ; 
Instruct, thy lov'd, Vardanes. — 


Yes, I'll tell thee; 
But listen with attention while I speak ; 
And yet I know 'twill shock thy gentle soul, 
And horror o'er thee '11 spread his palsy hand. 
O, my lov'd Son ! thou fondness of my age ! 
Thou art the prop of my declining years, 
In thee alone I find a Father's joy. 
Of all my offspring : But Arsaces — 



My Brother ! — 


Ay — why dost start ? — thy Brother 
Pursues me with his hate : and, while warm life 
Rolls the red current thro' my veins, delights 


To see me tortur'd ; with an easy smile 

He meets my suff'rings, and derides my pain. 




What means that hollow groan ? — Vardanes, speak, 
Death's image sits upon thy pallid cheek, 
While thy low voice sounds as when murmurs run 
Thro' lengthen'd vaults — 


O ! my foreboding thoughts, (Aside) 
'Twas this disturb'd my rest ; when sleep at night 
Lock'd me in slumbers ; in my dreams I saw 
My Brother's crime — yet death ! — it cannot be — 


Ha ! — What was that ? — 


O ! my dread Lord, some Villain 
Bred up in lies, and train'd to treach'ry. 
Has injur'd you by vile reports, to stain 
My Princely Brother's honour. 


Thou know'st more, 
Thy looks confess what thou in vain wouldst hide — 
And hast thou then conspir'd against me too. 
And sworn concealment to your practices ? — 
Thy guilt — 


Ha ! guilt ! — what guilt ? — 



Nay, start not so — 
I'll know your purposes, spite of thy art. 


! ye great Gods ! and is it come to this ? — 
My Royal Father call your reason home. 

Drive these loud passions hence, that thus deform you. 
My Brother — Ah ! what shall I say ? — My Brother 
Sure loves you as he ought. 


Ha ! as he ought ? — 
Hell blister thy evasive tongue — I'll know it — 

1 will ; I'll search thy breast, thus will I open 
A passage to your secrets — yet resolv'd — 
Yet steady in your horrid villany — 

'Tis fit that I from whom such monsters sprung 
No more should burthen earth — Ye Parricides ! — 
Here plant your daggers in this hated bosom — 
Here rive my heart, and end at once my sorrows, 
I gave ye being, that's the mighty crime. 


I can no more — here let me bow in anguish — 
Think not that I e'er join'd in his designs. 
Because I have conceal'd my knowledge of them ; 
I meant, by pow'rful reason's friendly aid. 
To turn him from destruction's dreadful path. 
And bring him to a sense of what he ow'd 
To you as King and Father. 



Say on — I'll hear. 


He views thy sacred life with envious hate, 

And 'tis a bar to his ambitious hopes. 

On the bright throne of Empire his plum'd wishes 

Seat him, while on his proud aspiring brows 

He feels the pleasing weight of Royalty. 

But when he wakes from these his airy dreams, 

(Delusions form'd by the deceiver hope. 

To raise him to the glorious height of greatness) 

Then hiu-l him from proud Empire to subjection. 

Wild wrath will quickly swell his haughty breast. 

Soon as he finds 'tis but a shadowy blessing. — 

'Twas fav'ring accident discover'd to me 

All that I know ; this Evening as I stood 

Alone, retir'd, in the still gallery. 

That leads up to th' appartment of my Brother, 

T' indulge my melancholy thoughts, — 


Proceed — 


A wretch approach'd with wary step, his eye 
Spoke half his tale, denoting villany. 
In hollow murmurs thus he question'd me. 
Was I the Prince ? — I answer'd to content him — 
Then in his hand he held this paper forth. 
"Take this, says he, this Bethas greets thee with, 
"Keep but your word our plot will meet success." 
I snatch'd it with more rashness than discretion. 
Which taught him his mistake. In haste he drew, 


And aim'd his dagger at my breast, but paid 
His life, a forfeit, for his bold presuming. 


Villain! Villain! 


Here, read this, my lord — 

1 read it, and cold horror froze my blood. 
And shook me like an ague. 


Ha ! — what's this ? — 
"Doubt not Arabia's aid, set me but free, 
"I'll easy pass on the old cred'lous King, 
"For fair Evanthe's Father." — Thus to atoms — 
Oh ! could I tear these cursed traitors thus. 

(tears the paper into pieces) 


Ctu-ses avail you nothing, he has pow'r, 
And may abuse it to your prejudice. 


I am resolv'd — 


Tho' Pris'ner in his'camp. 
Yet, Beihas was attended hke a Prince, 
As tho' he still commanded the Arabians. 
'Tis true, when they approach'd the royal city. 
He threw him into chains to bUnd our eyes, 
A shallow artifice — 


That is a Truth. 



And, yet, he is your Son. 


Ah ! that indeed — 


Why that still heightens his impiety. 

To rush to empire thro' his Father's blood. 

And, in return of life, to give him death. 


Oh ! I am all on fire, yes I must tear 
These folds of venom from me. 


Sure 'twas Lysias 
That cross'd the passage now. 


'Tis to my wish. 
I'll in, and give him orders to arrest 
My traitor Son and Bethas — Now Vardanes 
Indulge thy Father in this one request — 
Seize, with some horse, Evanthe, and bear her 
To your command — Oh ! I'll own my weakness 
I love with fondness mortal never knew — 
Nor Jove himself, when he forsook his heav'n, 
And in a brutal shape disgrae'd the God, 
E'er lov'd like me. 


I will obey you. Sir. 



VABDANES, alone. 

I'll seize her, but I'll keep her for myself. 

It were a sin to give her to his age — 

To twiae the blooming garland of the spring 

Around the sapless trunks of wither'd oaks — 

The night, methinks, grows ruder than it was. 

Thus should it be, thus nature should be shock'd. 

And Prodigies, affrighting all mankind, 

Foretell the dreadful business I intend. 

The earth should gape, and swallow cities up, 

Shake from their haughty heights aspiring tow'rs. 

And level mountains with the vales below ; 

The Sun amaz'd should frown in dark eclipse, 

And light retire to its unclouded heav'n ; 

While darkness, bursting from her deep recess. 

Should wrap all nature iq. eternal night. — 

Ambition, glorious fever of the mind, 

'Tis that which raises us above mankind ; 

The shining mark which bounteous heav'n has gave. 

From vulgar souls distinguishing the brave. 

END of the Third ACT. 



Oh ! fly my Prince, for safety dwells not here. 
Hence let me m*ge thy flight with eager haste. 
Last night thy Father sigh'd his soul to bliss, 
Base murther'd — 


Murther'd ? ye Gods ! — 


Alas ! 'tis true. 
Stabb'd in his slumber by a traitor's hand ; 
I scarce can speak it — horror choaks my words ■ 
Lysias it was who did the damned deed, 
Urg'd by the bloody Queen, and his curs'd rage. 
Because the King, thy Sire, in angry mood. 
Once struck him on his foul dishonest cheek. 
Suspicion gave me fears of this, when first 
I heard, the Prince, Arsaces, was imprison'd. 
By fell Vardanes' wiles. 


Oh ! horror ! horror ! 
Hither I came to share my Brother's sorrows, 



To mingle tears, and give him sigh for sigh ; 
But this is double, double weight of woe. 


'Tis held as yet a secret from the world. 
Frighted by hideous dreams I shook ofiF sleep. 
And as I mus'd the garden walks along, 
Thro' the-deep gloom, close in a neighb'ring walk, 
Vardanes with proud hysias I beheld. 
Still eager in discourse they saw not me. 
For yet the early dawn had not appear'd ; 
I sought a secret stand, where hid from view, 
I heard stern Lysias, hail the Prince Vardanes 
As Parthia's dreaded Lord — " 'Tis done, he cry'd, 
"'Tis done, and Artabanus is no more. 
"The blow he gave me is repay 'd in blood; 
"Now shall the morn behold two rising suns : 
" Vardanes thou, our better light, shalt bring 
"Bright day and joy to ev'ry heart." 


Why slept 
Your vengeance, oh ! ye righteous Gods ? 


Then told 
A tale, so fiU'd with bloody circumstance. 
Of this damn'd deed, that stiflfen'd me with horror. 
Vardanes seem'd to blame the hasty act. 
As rash, and unadvis'd, by the passion urg'd. 
Which never yields to cool reflection's place. 
But, being done, resolv'd it secret, least 
The multitude should take it in their wise 


Authority to pry into his death. 

Arsaces was, by assassination, 

Doom'd to fall. Your name was mention'd also — 

But hurried by my fears away, I left 

The rest unheard — 


What can be done ? — Reflection, why wilt thou 
Forsake us, when distress is at our heels ? 
Phraates help me, aid me with thy council. 


Then stay not here, fly to Barzaphernes, 

His conqu'ring troops are at a trivial distance ; 

Soon will you reach the camp ; he lov'd your Brother, 

And your Father with affection serv'd ; haste 

Your flight, whilst yet I have the city-guard. 

For Lysias I expect takes my command, 

I to the camp dispatch'd a trusty slave. 

Before the morn had spread her blushing veil. 

Away, you'll meet the Gen'ral on the road. 

On such a cause as this he'll not delay. 


I thank your love — 


PHRAATES, alone. 

I'll wait behind, my stay 
May aid the cause ; dissembling I must learn. 
Necessity shall teach me how to vary 


My features to the looks of him I serve. 
I'll thrust myself disguis'd among the croud. 
And fill their ears with murmurs of the deed : 
Whisper all is not well, blow up the sparks 
Of discord, and it soon will flame to rage. 




Haste, and shew me to the Prince Arsaces, 
Delay not, see the signet of Vardanes. 


Royal Thermusa, why this eagerness ? 

This tumult of the soul ? — what means this dagger ? 

Ha ! — I suspect — 


Hold — for I'll tell thee, Lysias. 
'Tis — oh ! I scarce can speak the mighty joy — 
I shall be greatly blest in dear revenge, 
'Tis vengeance on Arsaces — yes, this hand 
Shall urge the shining poniard to his heart. 
And give him death — yea, give the ru£5an death ; 
So shall I smile on his keen agonies. 


Ha ! am I robb'd of all my hopes of vengeance. 
Shall I then calmly stand with all my wrongs, 
And see another bear away revenge ? 



For what can Lysias ask revenge, to bar 
His Queen of hers ? 


Was I not scorn'd, and spurn 'd. 
With haughty insolence ? like a base coward 
Refus'd what e'er I ask'd, and call'd a boaster ? 
My honoiu- sullied, with opprobrious words. 
Which can no more its former brightness know, 
'Til, with his blood, I've wash'd the stains away. 
Say, shall I then not seek for glorious vengeance ? 


And what is this, to the sad Mother's griefs, 
Her hope cut oflf, rais'd up with pain and care ? 
Hadst thou e'er supported the lov'd Prattler ? 
Hadst thou like me hung o'er his infancy. 
Wasting in wakeful mood the tedious night. 
And watch'd his sickly couch, far mov'd from rest. 
Waiting his health's return ? — Ah ! hadst thou known 
The parent's fondness, rapture, toil and sorrow, 
The joy his actions gave, and the fond wish 
Of something yet to come, to bless my age. 
And lead me down with pleasure to the grave. 
Thou wouldst not thus talk lightly of my wrongs. 
But I delay — 


To thee I then submit. 
Be sure to wreak a double vengeance on him ; 
If that thou knowst a part in all his body. 
Where pain can most be felt, strike, strike him there — 


And let him know the utmost height of anguish. 

It is a joy to think that he shall fall, 

Tho' 'tis another hand which gives the blow. 

ARSACES and bethas. 


Why should I linger out my joyless days, 
When length of hope is length of misery ? 
Hope is a coz'ner, and beguiles our cares, 
Cheats us with empty shews of happiness. 
Swift fleeting joys which mock the faint embrace ; 
We wade thro' ills pursuing of the meteor. 
Yet are distanc'd still. 


Ah ! talk not of hope — 
Hope fled when bright Astraea spurn'd this earth, 
And sought her seat among the shining Gods ; 
Despair, proud tyrant, ravages my breast, 
And makes all desolation. 


How can I 
Behold those rev'rent sorrows, see those cheeks 
Moist with the dew which falls from thy sad eyes. 
Nor imitate distraction's frantic tricks. 
And chace cold lifeless reason from her throne ? 
I am the fatal cause of aU this sorrow. 
The spring of ills, — to know me is unhappiness ; - 


And mis'ry, like a hateful plague, pursues 

My wearied steps, and blasts the springing verdure. 


No ; — It is I that am the source of all. 

It is my fortune sinks you to this trouble ; 

Before you shower'd your gentle pity on me. 

You shone the pride of this admiring world. — 

Evanthe springs from me, whose fatal charms 

Produces all this ruin — Hear me heav'n ! 

If to another love she ever yields. 

And stains her soul with spotted falsehood's crime. 

If e'en in expectation tastes a bliss. 

Nor joins Arsaces with it, I will wreck 

My vengeance on her, so that she shall be 

A dread example to all future times. 


Oh ! curse her not, nor threaten her with anger, 

She is all gentleness, yet firm to truth. 

And blest with ev'ry pleasing virtue, free 

From levity, her sexes character. 

She scorns to chace the turning of the wind. 

Varying from point to point. 


I love her, ye Gods ! 
I need not speak the greatness of my love. 
Each look which straining draws my soul to hers 
Denotes unmeasur'd fondness ; but mis'ry, 
Like a fretful peevish child, can scarce tell 
What it would wish, or aim at. 



Immortals, hear ! 
Thus do I bow my soul in humble pray'r — 
Thou, King of beings, in whose breath is fate, 
Show'r on Evanthe all thy choicest blessings, 
And bless her with excess of happiness ; 
If yet, there is one bliss reserv'd in store, 
And written to my name, oh ! give it her. 
And give me all her sorrows in return. 


'Rise, 'rise my Prince, this goodness o'erwhelms me. 
She's too unworthy of so great a passion. 


I know not what it means, I'm not as usual. 

Ill-boding cares, and restless fears oppress me. 

And horrid dreams disturb, and fright, my slumbers ; 

But yesternight, 'tis dreadful to relate. 

E'en now I tremble at my waking thoughts, 

Methought, I stood alone upon the shore. 

And, at my feet, there roU'd a sea of blood. 

High wrought, and 'midst the waves, appear'd my 

Struggling for life ; above him was Vardanes, 
Pois'd in the air, he seem'd to rule the storm. 
And, now and then, would push my Father down. 
And for a space he'd sink beneath the waves. 
And then, all gory, rise to open view. 
His voice in broken accents reach'd my ear. 
And bade me save him from the bloody stream ; 
Thro' the red billows eagerly I rush'd. 
But sudden woke, benum'd with chilling fear. 



Most horrible indeed ! — but let it pass, 
'Tis but the offspring of a mind disturb'd, 
Fop sorrow leaves impressions on the fancy, 
Which shew most fearful to us lock'd in sleep. 


Thermusal ha ! — what can be her design ? 
She bears this way, and carries in her looks 
An eagerness importing violence. 
Retire — for I would meet her rage alone. 

AR8ACES and queen. 


What means the proud Thermusa by this visit, 
Stoops heav'n-born pity to a breast like thine ? 
Pity adorns th' virtuous, but ne'er dwells 
Where hate, revenge, and rage distract the soul. 
Sure, it is hate that hither urg'd thy steps. 
To view misfortune with an eye of triumph. 
I know thou lov'st me not, for I have dar'd 
To cross thy purposes, and, bold in censure. 
Spoke of thy actions as they merited. 
Besides, this hand 'twas slew the curs'd Vonones. 


And darst thou insolent to name Vonones f 
To heap perdition on thy guilty soul ? 


There needs not this to urge me to revenge — 
But let me view this wonder of mankind, 
Whose breath can set the bustling world in arms. 
I see no dreadful terrors in his eye, 
Nor gathers chilly fears around my heart. 
Nor strains my gazing eye with admiration, 
And, tho' a woman, I can strike the blow. 


Why gaze you on me thus ? why hesitate ? 
Am I to die ? 


Thou art — this dagger shall 
Dissolve thy life, thy fleeting ghost I'll send 
To wait Vonones in the shades below. 


And even there I'll triumph over him. 


O, thou vile homicide ! thy fatal hand 

Has robb'd me of all joy ; Vonones, to 

Thy Manes this proud sacrifice I give. 

That hand which sever'd the friendship of thy 

Soul and body, shall never draw again 

Imbitt'ring tears from sorr'wing mother's eyes. 

This, with the many tears I've shed, receive — 

(Offers to stab him) 
Ha ! — I'd strike ; what holds my hand ? — 'tis n't pity. 


Nay, do not mock me, with the shew of death. 
And yet deny the blessing ; I have met 


Your taunts with equal taunts, in hopes to urge 
The blow with swift revenge ; but since that fails, 
I'll woo thee to comphance, teach my tongue 
Persuasion's winning arts, to gain thy soul ; 
I'll praise thy clemency, in dying accents 
Bless thee for, this, thy charitable deed. 
Oh ! do not stand ; see, how my bosom heaves 
To meet the stroke ; in pity let me die, 
'Tis all the happiness I now can know. 


How sweet the eloquence of dying men ! 
Hence Poets feign'd the music of the Swan, 
When death upon her lays his icy hand. 
She melts away in melancholy strains. 


Play not thus cruel with my poor request, 
But take my loving Father's thanks, and mine. 


Thy Father cannot thank me now. 


He will. 
Believe me, e'en whilst dissolv'd in ecstacy 
On fond Evanthe's bosom, he will pause. 
One moment from his joys, to bless the deed. 


What means this tumult in my breast ? from whence 
Proceeds this sudden change ? my heart beats high, 


And soft compassion makes me less than woman : 
I'll search no more for what I fear to know. 


Why drops the dagger from thy trembling hand ? 
O ! yet be kind — 


No : now I'd have thee live, 
Since it is happiness to die : 'Tis pain 
That I would give thee, thus I bid thee live ; 
Yes, I would have thee a whole age a dying. 
And smile to see thy ling'ring agonies. 
All day I'd watch thee, mark each heighten'd pang. 
While springing joy should swell my panting bosom ; 
This I would have — But should this dagger give 
Thy soul the liberty it fondly wishes, 
'Twould soar aloft, and mock my faint revenge. 


This mildness- shews most foul, thy anger lovely. 
Think that 'twas I who blasted thy fond hope, 
Vonones now lies number'd with the dead. 
And all your joys are buried in his grave ; 
My hand untimely pluck'd the precious flow'r. 
Before its shining beauties were display'd. 


Woman ! Woman ! where's thy resolution ? 
Where's thy revenge? Where's all thy hopes of 

vengeance ? 
Giv'n to the winds — Ha ! is it pity ? — No — 

1 fear it wears another softer name. 


I'll think no more, but rush to my revenge. 
In spite of foolish fear, or woman's softness ; 
Be steady now my soul to thy resolves. 
Yes, thou shalt die, thus, on thy breast, I write 
Thy instant doom — Ha ! — ye Gods ! 

(queen starts, as, in great fright, at hearing some- 


Why this pause ? 
Why dost thou idly stand like imag'd vengeance. 
With harmless terrors threatning on thy brow. 
With lifted arm, yet canst not strike the blow ? 


It surely was the Echo to my fears. 
The whistling wind, perhaps, which mimick'd voice ; 
But thrice methought it loudly cry'd, "forbear." 
Imagination hence — I'll heed thee not — 

(Ghost of ARTABANus riscs) 
Save me — oh ! — save me — ye eternal pow'rs ! — 
See ! — see it comes, surrounded with dread terrors — 
Hence — hence ! nor blast me with that horrid sight — 
Throw off that shape, and search th' infernal rounds 
For horrid forms, there's none can shock like thine. 


No ; I will ever wear this form, thus e'er 
Appear before thee ; glare upon thee thus, 
'Til desperation, join'd to thy damn'd crime. 
Shall wind thee to the unmost height of frenzy, 
In vain you grasp the dagger in your hand. 


In vain you dress your brows in angry frowns, 

In vain you raise your threatning arm in air, 

Secure, Arsaces triumphs o'er your rage. 

Guarded by fate, from thy accurs'd revenge. 

Thou canst not touch his life ; the Gods have giv'n 

A softness to thy more than savage soul 

Before unknown, to aid their grand designs. 

Fate yet is lab'ring with some great event, 

But what must follow I'm forbid to broach — 

Think, think of me, I sink to rise again. 

To play in blood before thy aking sight, 

And shock thy guilty soul with hell-born horrors — 

Think, think of Artahanus! and despair — (Sinks) 


Think of thee, and despair ? — yes, I'll despair — 

Yet stay, — oh ! stay, thou messenger of fate ! 

Tell me — Ha ! 'tis gone — and left me wretched — 


Your eyes seem fix'd upon some dreadful object. 
Horror and anguish cloath your whiten'd face. 
And your frame shakes with terror ; I hear you speak 
As seeming earnest in discourse, yet hear 
No second voice. 


What ! saw'st thou nothing ? 




Nor hear'd ? — 



Nor hear'd. 


Amazing spectacle ! — 
Cold moist'ning dews distil from ev'ry pore, 
I tremble like to palsied age — Ye Gods ! 
Would I could leave this loath'd detested being ! — 
Oh ! all my brain's on fire — I rave ! I rave ! — 

(Ghost rises again) 
Ha ! it comes again — see, it glides along — 
See, see, what streams of blood flow from its wounds ! 
A crimson torrent — Shield me, oh! shield me, 
heav'n. — 


Great, and righteous Gods ! — 


Ah ! frown not on me — 
Why dost thou shake thy horrid locks at me ? 
Can I give immortality .'' — 'tis gone — (Ghost sinks) 
It flies me, see, ah ! — stop it, stop it, haste — 


Oh, piteous sight ! — 


Hist ! prithee hist ! — oh death ! 
I'm all on fire — now freezing bolts of ice 
Dart thro' my breast — Oh ! burst ye cords of life — 
Ha ! who are ye ? — Why do ye stare upon me ? — 
Oh ! — defend me, from these bick'ring Furies ! 


Alas ! her sense is lost, distressful Queen ! 



Help me, thou King of Gods ! oh ! help me ! help ! — 

See ! they envu-'n me round — Vonones too, 

The foremost leading on the dreadful troop — 

But there, Vardanes beck'ns me to shun 

Their hellish rage — I come, I come ! 

Ah ! they pursue me, with a scourge of fire. — 

(Runs out distracted) 


ABSACES, alone. 

Oh ! — horror ! — on the ground she breathless lies, 

Silent, in death's cold sleep ; the wall besmear'd 

With brains and gore the marks of her despair. 

O guilt ! how dreadful dost thou ever shew ! 

How lovely are the charms of innocence ! 

How beauteous tho' in sorrows and distress ! — 

Ha ! — what noise ? — (Clashing of swords) 



At length we've forc'd our entrance — 
O my lov'd Prince ! to see thee thus, indeed. 
Melts e'en me to a woman's softness ; see 
My eyes o'erflow — Are these the ornaments 
For Royal hands ? rude manacles ! oh shameful ! 


Is this thy room of state, this gloomy goal ? 

Without attendance, and thy bed the pavement ? 

But, ah ! how diff 'rent was our parting last ! 

When flush'd with vict'ry, reeking from the slaughter. 

You saw Arabia's Sons scour o'er the plain 

In shameful flight, before your conqu'ring sword ; 

Then shone you like the God of battle. 


Welcome ! — 
Welcome, my loyal friends ! Barzaphemes ! 
My good old soldier, to my bosom thus ! 
Gotarzes, my lov'd Brother ! now I'm happy. — 
But, say, my soldier, why these threatning arms ? 
Why am I thus releas'd by force ? my Father, 
I should have said the King, had he relented. 
He'd not have us'd this method to enlarge me. 
Alas ! I fear, too forward in your love, 
You'll brand me with the rebel's hated name. 


I am by nature blunt — the soldier's manner. 
Unus'd to the soft arts practis'd at courts. 
Nor can I move the passions, or disguise 
The sorr'wing tale to mitigate the smart. 
Then seek it not : I would sound the alarm. 
Loud as the trumpet's clangour, in your ears ; 
Nor will I hail you, as our Parthia's King, 
'Til you've full reveng'd your Father's murther. 


Murther ? — good heav'n ! 



The tale requires some time ; 
And opportunity must not be lost ; 
Your traitor Brother, who usurps your rights, 
Must, 'ere his faction gathers to a head, 
Have from his brows his new-born honours torn, 


What, dost thou say, murther'd by Vardanes? 
Impious parricide ! — detested villain ! — 
Give me a sword, and onward to the charge, 
Stop gushing tears, for I will weep in blood. 
And sorrow with the groans of dying men. — 
Revenge ! revenge ! — oh ! — all my soul's on fire ! 


'Twas not Vardanes struck the fatal blow. 
Though, great in pow'r usurp'd, he dares support 
The actor, vengeful Lysias; to his breast 
He clasps, with grateful joy, the bloody villain ; 
Who soon meant, with ruflSan wiles, to cut 
You from the earth, and also me. 


Just heav'ns ! — 
But, gentle Brother, how didst thou elude 
The vigilant, suspicious, tyrant's craft. 


Phraates, by an accident, obtain'd 
The knowledge of the deed, and warn'd by him 
I bent my flight toward the camp, to seek 
Protection and revenge ; but scarce I'd left 
The city when I o'ertook the Gen'ral. 



'Ere the sun 'rose I gain'd th' intelligence : 

The soldiers when they heard the dreadful tale, 

First stood aghast, and motionless with horror. 

Then suddenly, inspir'd with noble rage. 

Tore up their ensigns, calling on their leaders 

To march them to the city instantly. 

I, with some trusty few, with speed came forward, 

To raise our friends within, and gain your freedom. 

Nor hazard longer, by delays, your safety. 

Already faithful Phraates has gain'd 

A num'rous party of the citizens ; 

With these we mean t' attack the Royal Palace, 

Crush the bold tyrant with surprize, while sunk 

In false security ; and vengeance wreck, 

'Ere that he thinks the impious crime be known. 


O ! parent being. Ruler of yon heav'n ! 

Who bade creation spring to order, hear me. 

What ever sins are laid upon my soul. 

Now let them not prove heavy on this day. 

To sink my arm, or violate my cause. 

The sacred rights of Kings, my Country's wrongs. 

The punishment of fierce impiety. 

And a lov'd Father's death, call forth my sword — 

Now on ; I feel all calm within my breast. 
And ev'ry busy doubt is hush'd to rest ; 
Smile heav'n propitious on my virtuous cause. 
Nor aid the wretch who dares disdain your laws. 

END of the Foubth ACT. 

ACT v. — SCENE I. 

The Curtain rises, slowly, to soft music, and discovers 
EVANTHE sleeping on a Sofa; after the music 
ceases, vakdanes enters. 


Now shining Empire standing at the goal, 

Beck'ns me forward to increase my speed ; 

But yet, Arsaces lives, bane to my hopes, 

Lysias I'll urge to ease me of his life. 

Then give the villain up to punishment. 

The shew of justice gains the changeling croud. 

Besides, I ne'er will harbour in my bosom 

Such serpents, ever ready with their stings — 

But now one hour for love and fair Evanthe — 

Hence with ambition's cares — see, where reclin'd. 

In slumbers all her sorrows are dismiss'd. 

Sleep seems to heighten ev'ry beauteous feature, 

And adds peculiar softness to each grace. 

She weeps — in dreams some lively sorrow pains her — 

I'll take one kiss — oh ! what a balmy sweetness ! 

Give me another — and another still — 

For ever thus I'd dwell upon her lips. 

Be still my heart, and calm unruly transports. — 

Wake her, with music, from this mimic death. 

(Music sounds) 



Tell me, Phillis, tell me why, 
You appear so wond'rous coy, 

When that glow, and sparkling eye. 
Speak you want to taste the joy ? 

Prithee give this fooling o'er. 

Nor torment your lover more. 

While youth is warm within our veins. 
And nature tempts us to be gay. 

Give to pleasure loose the reins, 
Love and youth fly swift away. 

Youth in pleasure should be spent, 

Age will come, we'll then repent. 

EVANTHE (waking) 
I come ye lovely shades — Ha ! am I here ? 
Still in the tyrant's palace ? Ye bright pow'rs ! 
Are all my blessings then but vis'onary ? 
Methought I was arriv'd on that blest shore 
Where happy souls for ever dwell, crown'd with 
Immortal bliss ; Arsaces led me through 
The flow'ry groves, while all around me gleam'd 
Thousand and thousand shades, who welcom'd me 
With pleasing songs of joy — Vardanes, ha ! — 


Why beams the angry lightning of thine eye 
Against thy sighing slave ? Is love a crime ? 
Oh ! if to dote, with such excess of passion 
As rises e'en to mad extravagance 
Is criminal, I then am so, indeed. 



Away ! vile man ! — 


If to pursue thee e'er 
With all the humblest oflSces of love, 
K ne'er to know one single thought that does 
Not bear thy bright idea, merits scorn — 


Hence from my sight — nor let me, thus, pollute 
Mine eyes, with looking on a wretch like thee. 
Thou cause of all my ills ; I sicken at 
Thy loathsome presence — 


'Tis not always thus, 
Nor dost thou ever meet the sounds of love 
With rage and fierce disdain : Arsaces, soon. 
Could smooth thy brow, and melt thy icy breast. 


Ha ! does it gall thee ? Yes, he could, he could ; 
Oh ! when he speaks, such sweetness dwells upon 
His accents, all my soul dissolves to love. 
And warm desire ; such truth and beauty join'd ! 
His looks are soft and kind, such gentleness ! 
Such virtue swells his bosom ! in his eye 
Sits majesty, commanding ev'ry heart. 
Strait as the pine, the pride of all the grove, 
More blooming than the spring, and sweeter far, 
Than asphodels or roses infant sweets. 
Oh ! I could dwell forever on his praise. 
Yet think eternity was scarce enough 


To tell the mighty theme ; here in miy breast 
His image dwells, but one dear thought of him. 
When fancy paints his Person to my eye. 
As he was wont in tenderness dissolv'd. 
Sighing his vows, or kneeling at my feet. 
Wipes ofif all mem'ry of my wretchedness. 


I know this brav'ry is affected, yet 
It gives me joy, to think my rival only 
Can in imagination taste thy beauties. 
Let him, — 'twill ease him in his solitude. 
And gild the horrors of his prison-house. 
Till death shall — 


Ha ! what was that .'' till death — ye Gods ! 
Ah, now I feel distress's tort'ring pang — 
Thou canst not villain — darst not think his death — 
O mis'ry ! — 


Naught but your kindness saves him. 
Yet bless me, with your love, and he is safe ; 
But the same frown which kills my growing hopes. 
Gives him to death, 


O horror, I could die 
Ten thousand times to save the lov'd Arsaces. 
Teach me the means, ye pow'rs, how to save him : 
Then lead me to what ever is my fate. 


Not only shall he die, but to thy view 

I'll bring the scene, those eyes that take delight 


In cruelty, shall have enough of death. 
E'en here, before thy sight, he shall expire. 
Not sudden, but by ling'ring torments ; all 
That mischief can invent shall be practis'd 
To give him pain ; to lengthen out his woe 
I'll search around the realm for skillful men, 
To find new tortm-es. 


Oh ! wrack not thus my soxil ! 


The sex o'erflows with various humours, he 
Who catches not their smiles the very moment. 
Will lose the blessing — I'll improve this softness. — 

(Aside to her) 
— Heav'n never made thy beauties to destroy. 
They were to bless, and not to blast mankind ; 
Pity should dwell within thy lovely breast. 
That sacred temple ne'er was form'd for hate 
A habitation ; but a residence 
For love and gaiety. 


Oh ! heav'ns ! 


That sigh. 
Proclaims your kind consent to save Arsaces. 

(Laying hold of her) 


Ha ! villain, off — unhand me — hence — 


In vain 
Is opportunity to those, who spend 


An idle courtship on the fair, they well 

Deserve their fate, if they're disdain'd ; — her charms 

To rush upon, and conquer opposition, 

Gains the Fair one's praise ; an active lover 

Suits, who lies aside the coxcomb's empty whine, 

And forces her to bliss. 


Ah ! hear me, hear me. 
Thus kneeling, with my tears, I do implore thee : 
Think on my innocence, nor force a joy 
Which will ever fill thy soul with anguish. 
Seek not to load my ills with infamy. 
Let me not be a mark for bitter scorn, 
To bear proud virtue's taunts and mocking jeers. 
And like a flow'r, of all its sweetness robb'd. 
Be trod to earth, neglected and disdain'd, 
And spurn'd by ev'ry vulgar saucy foot. 


Speak, speak forever — music's in thy voice, 

StUl attentive will I listen to thee. 

Be hush'd as night, charm'd with the magic sound. 


Oh ! teach me, heav'n, soft moving eloquence, 
To bend his stubborn soul to gentleness. — 
Where is thy virtue ? Where thy princely lustre ? 
Ah ! wilt thou meanly stoop to do a wrong. 
And stain thy honour with so foul a blot ? 
Thou who shouldst be a guard to innocence. 
Leave force to brutes — for pleasure is not found 


Where still the soul's averse ; horror and guilt. 
Distraction, desperation chace her hence. 
Some happier gentle Fair one you may find, 
Whose yielding heart may bend to meet your flame. 
In mutual love soft joys alone are found ; 
When souls are drawn by secret sympathy. 
And virtue does on virtue smile. 


No more — 
Her heav'nly tongue will charm me from th' intent. — 
Hence coward softness, force shall make me blest. 


Assist me, ye bless't pow'rs ! — oh ! strike, ye Gods ! 
Strike me, with thunder dead, this moment, e'er 
I suffer violation — 


'Tis in vain. 
The idle pray'rs by fancy'd grief put up. 
Are blown by active winds regardless by. 
Nor ever reach the heav'ns. 



Arm, arm, my Lord ! — 


Damnation ! why this interruption now ? — 



Oh ! arm ! my noble Prince, the foe's upon us, 
Arsaces, by Barzapkernes releas'd, 
Join'd with the citizens, assaults the Palace, 
And swears revenge for Artabanus' death. 


Ha ! what ? revenge for Artabanus' death ? — 
'Tis the curse of Princes that their counsels, 
Which should be kept like holy mysteries. 
Can never rest in silent secrecy. 
Fond of employ, some cursed tattling tongue 
Will still divulge them. 


Sure some fiend from heU 
In mischief eminent, to cross our views, 
Has giv'n th' intelligence, for man could not. 


Oh ! ever blest event ! — All-gracious heav'n ! 
This beam of joy revives me. 



Haste ! my Lord ! 
Or all will soon be lost ; tho' thrice repuls'd 
By your e'erfaithful guards, they stiU return 
With double fury. 



Hence, then, idle love — 
Come forth, my trusty sword — curs'd misfortune ! 
Had I but one short hour, without reluctance, 
I'd meet them, tho' they brib'd the pow'rs of hell. 
To place their furies in the van : Yea, rush 
To meet this dreadful Brother 'midst the war — 
Haste to the combat — Now a crown or death — 
The wretch who dares to give an inch of ground 
Till I retire, shall meet the death he shun'd. 
Away — away ! delays are dang'rous now — 


EVANTHE, alone. 

Now heav'n be partial to Arsaxies' cause. 

Nor leave to giddy chance when virtue strives ; 

Let victory sit on his warlike helm. 

For justice draws his sword : be thou his aid. 

And let the opposer's arm sink with the weight 

Of his most impious crimes — be still my heart. 

For all that thou canst aid him with is pray'r. 

Oh ! that I had the strength of thousands in me ! 

Or that my voice could wake the sons of men 

To join, and crush the tyrant ! — 




My Cleone — 
Welcome thou partner of my joys and sorrows. 


Oh ! yonder terror triumphs uncontroul'd. 
And glutton death seems never satisfy'd. 
Each soft sensation lost in thoughtless rage. 
And breast to breast, oppos'd in furious war. 
The fiery Chiefs receive the vengeful steel. 
O'er lifeless heaps of men the soldiers climb 
Still eager for the combat, while the ground 
Made sUpp'ry by the gushing streams of gore 
Is treach'rous to their feet. — Oh ! horrid sight ! - 
Too much for me to stand, my life was chill'd, 
As from the turret I beheld the sight. 
It forc'd me to retire. 


What of Arsaces ? 


I saw him active in the battle, now, 
Like light'ning, piercing thro' the thickest foe, 
Then scorning to disgrace his sword in low 
Plebeian blood — loud for Vardanes call'd — 
To meet him singly, and decide the war. 


Save him, ye Gods ! oh ! all my soul is fear — 
Fly, fly Cleone, to the tow'r again. 


See how fate turns the ballance ; and pursue 
Arsaces with thine eye ; mark ev'ry blow. 
Observe if some bold villain dares to urge 
His sword presumptuous at my Hero's breast. 
Haste, my Cleone, haste, to ease my fears. 


EVANTHE, alone. 

Ah ! — what a cruel torment is suspense ! 
My anxious soul is torn 'twixt love and fear, 
Scarce can I please me with one fancied bliss 
Which kind imagination forms, but reason. 
Proud, siu-ly reason, snatches the vain joy. 
And gives me up again to sad distress. 
Yet I can die, and should Arsaces fall 
This fatal draught shall ease me of my sorrows. 


CLEONE, alone. 

Oh ! horror ! horror ! horror ! — cruel Gods ! — 
I saw him fall — I did — pierc'd thro' with wounds — 
Curs'd ! curs'd Vardanes I — hear'd the gen'ral cry. 
Which burst, as tho' all nature had dissolv'd. 
Hark ! how they shout ! the noise seems coming this 




with VARDANES and lysias, prisoners. 


Thanks to the ruling pow'rs who blest our arms. 

Prepare the sacrifices to the Gods, 

And grateful songs of tributary praise. — 

Gotarzes, fly, my Brother, find Evanthe, 

And bring the lovely mourner to my arms. 


Yes, I'll obey you, with a willing speed. 


Thou, Lysias, from yon tow'r's aspiring height 
Be huri'd to death, thy impious hands are stain'd 
With royal blood. — Let the traitor's body 
Be giv'n to hungry dogs. 


Welcome grim death ! — 
I've fed thy maw with JGngs, and lack no more 
Revenge — Now, do thy duty OflScer. 


Yea, and would lead all traitors gladly thus, — 
The boon of their deserts. 




But for Vardanes, 
The Brother's name forgot — 


You need no more, 
I know the rest — Ah ! death is near, my wounds 
Permit me not to live — my breath grows short, 
Curs'd be Phraates arm which stop'd my sword. 
Ere it had reach'd thy proud exulting heart. 
But the wretch paid dear for his presuming ; 
A just reward. — 


He sinks, yet bear him up — 


Curs'd be the multitude which o'erpow'r'd me. 

And beat me to the ground, cover'd with wounds — 

But, oh ! 'tis done ! my ebbing life is done — 

I feel death's hand upon me — Yet, I die 

Just as I wish, and daring for a crown. 

Life without rule is my disdain ; I scorn 

To swell a haughty Brother's sneaking train. 

To wait upon his ear with flatt'ring tales. 

And court his smiles ; come, death, in thy cold arms, 

Let me forget Ambition's mighty toil. 

And shun the triumphs of a hated Brother — 

O ! bear me off — Let not his eyes enjoy 

My agonies — My sight grows dim with death. 

(They bear him off) 


SCENE the Last. 




Lead me, oh ! lead me, to my lov'd Arsaces, 
Where is he ? — 


Ha ! what's this ? — Just heav'ns ! — my fears — 


Arsaces, oh ! thus cirerd in thy arms, 
I die without a pang. 


Ha ! die ? — why stare ye. 
Ye lifeless ghosts ? Have none of ye a tongue 
To tell me I'm undone ? 


Soon, my Brother, 
Too soon, you'll know it by the sad effects ; 
And if my grief will yet permit my tongue 
To do its oflSce, thou shalt hear the tale. 
Cleone, from the turret, view'd the battle. 
And on Phraates fix'd her erring sight, 
Thy brave unhappy friend she took for thee. 
By his garb deceiv'd, which like to thine he wore. 
Still with her eye she foUow'd him, where-e'er 
He pierc'd the foe, and to Vardanes sword 
She saw him fall a hapless victim, then. 


In agonies of grief, flew to Evanthe, 

And told the dreadful tale — the fatal bowl 

I saw — 


Be dumb, nor ever give again 
Fear to the heart, with thy ill-boding voice. 


Here, I'll rest, till death, on thy lov'd bosom. 
Here let me sigh my — Oh ! the poison works — 


Oh ! horror ! — 


Cease — this sorrow pains me more 
Than all the wringing agonies of death, 
The dreadful parting of the soul from, this. 
Its wedded clay — Ah ! there — that pang shot thro' 
My throbbing heart — 


Save her, ye Gods ! — oh ! save her ! 
And I will bribe ye with clouds of incense ; 
Such num'rous sacrifices, that your altars 
Shall even sink beneath the mighty load. 


When I am dead, dissolv'd to native dust. 
Yet let me live in thy dear mem'ry — 
One tear will not be much to give Evanthe. 


My eyes shall e'er two running fountains be. 
And wet thy urn with everflowing tears. 


Joy ne'er again within my breast shall find 
A residence — Oh ! speak, once more — 


Life's just out — 
My Father — Oh ! protect his honour'd age. 
And give him shelter from the storms of fate, 
He's long been fortune's sport — Support me — Ah ! — 
I can no more — my glass is spent — f arewel — 
Forever — Arsaces! — Oh ! (Dies) 


Stay, oh ! stay. 
Or take me with thee — dead ! she's cold and dead ! 
Her eyes are clos'd, and all my joys are flown — 
Now burst ye elements, from your restraint, 
Let order cease, and chaos be again. 
Break ! break tough heart ! — oh ! torture — life dis- 
solve — 
Why stand ye idle ? Have I not one friend 
To kindly free me from this pain ? One blow. 
One friendly blow would give me ease. 


The Gods 
Foref end ! — Pardon me. Royal Sir, if I 
Dare, seemingly disloyal, seize your sword. 
Despair may urge you far — 


Ha ! traitors ! rebels ! — 
Hoary rev'rend Villain ! what, disarm me ? 
Give me my sword — what, stand ye by, and see 
Your Prince insulted ? Are ye rebels all ? — 



Be calm, my gracious Lord ! 


Oh ! my lov'd Brother ! 


Gotarzes too ! all ! all ! conspir'd against me ? 
Still, are ye resolv'd that I must live. 
And feel the momentary pangs of death ? — 
Ha ! — this, shall make a passage for my soul — 

(Snatches barzafhernes' sword) 
Out, out vile cares, from your distress'd abode — 

(Stabs himself) 


Oh ! ye eternal Gods ! 


Distraction ! heav'ns ! ' 

I shall run mad — 


Ah ! 'tis in vain to grieve — 
The steel has done its part, and I'm at rest — 
Gotarzes wear my crown, and be thou blest. 
Cherish, Barzaphemes, my trusty chief — 
I faint, oh ! lay me by Evanthe's side — r 
Still wedded in our death's — Bethas — ■ 


My Lord, has broke his heart, I saw him stretch'd. 
Along the flinty pavement, in his gaol — 
Cold, lifeless — 



He's happy then — had he heard 
This tale, he'd — Ah ! Evanthe chides my soul. 
For ling'ring here so long — another pang 
And all the world, adieu — oh ! adieu ! — (Dies) 


Oh! — 
Fix me, heav'n, immoveable, a statue. 
And free me from o'erwhelming tides of grief. 


Oh ! my lov'd Prince, I soon shall follow thee, 
Thy laurel'd glories whither are they fled ? — 
Would I had died before this fatal day ! — 
Triumphant garlands pride my soul no more. 
No more the lofty voice of war can charm — 
And why then am I here ? Thus then — 

(Offers to stab himself) 


Ah ! hold, 
Nor rashly urge the blow — think of me, and 
Live — My heart is wrung with streaming anguish. 
Tore with the smarting pangs of woe, yet, will I 
Dare to live, and stem misfortune's billows. 
Live then, and be the guardian of my youth. 
And lead me on thro' virtue's rugged path. 


O, glorious youth, thy words have rous'd the 
Drooping genius of my soul ; thus, let me 
Clasp thee, in my aged arms ; yes, I will live — 


Live, to support thee in thy kingly rights, 

And when thou'rt firmly fix'd, my task's perform'd. 

My honourable task — Then I'll retire. 

Petition gracious heav'n to bless my work. 

And in the silent grave forget my cares. 


Now, to the Temple, let us onward move. 
And strive t' appease the angry pow'rs above. 
Fate yet may have some ills reserv'd in store, 
Continu'd curses, to torment us more. 
Tho', in their district, Monarchs rule alone, 
Jove sways the mighty Monarch on his throne : 
Nor can the shining honours which they wear. 
Purchase one joy, or save them from one care.